Cape Town – Stellenbosch FC coach Steve Barker expects to face a resurgent Swallows FC team at Dobsonville this weekend.
Swallows have endured a miserable start to the season both on and off the field, with the Dube Birds winning just one league match thus far as they languish in 14th place on the log. Furthermore, they have conceded seven goals in their last two games under the mentorship of caretaker coach Simo Dladla while head coach Brandon Truter was placed on leave for a fortnight.
In contrast, Stellies are riding a wave of success and are currently joint-second on the log and are benefitting from the stability of having Barker as the longest-serving coach of the same team in the league.
Truter has, however, returned to the helm of the Dube Birds and Barker believes this will be a great source of motivation for the home team.
“Swallows have had one or two issues this season. Brendon is back for them though and he’s done really well for them,” Barker said.
“I am sure they are desperate to return to winning ways and I assume they see this as an opportunity to get a win over us. It is difficult to predict how they will go against us and how they will play.
“It won’t be an easy encounter at Dobsonville. They are not an easy team to break down. But we are also in a good space in terms of how our season has gone. We must not become complacent, continue to work hard, and it’s a matter of maintaining the momentum.”
Meanwhile, fellow Western Cape outfit Cape Town City will be eager to transfer their splendid Cup form – the Citizens will face Mamelodi Sundowns in the MTN8 Cup final at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban at the end of the month – to their Dstv Premiership.
City have been scratchy in the league thus far, also winning just one match, but will hope to double that number when they face Sekhukhune United at Ellis Park on Saturday after working on some technical deficiencies during the Fifa international window.
“The Fifa break was very good. The intensity of the training sessions gave us an opportunity to work on a number of tactical situations leading into this game against Sekhukhune,” coach Eric Tinkler said.
“It won’t be an easy game. They haven’t had a bad start to the season, collected some very valuable points and they are going to play with a lot of confidence. We are going to have to work very hard. They are a very direct team and they like to get in behind and put in a lot of crosses in the box. We will need to be defensively resolute.”