Steve Barker, head coach of Stellenbosch FC, says being able to play at Idas Valley in the town instead of Athlone Stadium has been a big boost to the club. Photo: BackpagePix

CAPE TOWN – Stellenbosch FC are in a determined dash for promotion to the top-flight PSL.

The Cape Winelands club, currently sitting pretty at the top of the NFD standings, is not about to get ahead of itself, though.

For them, it is still a case of taking things game by game, and day by day.

As it stands at the moment, with 11 games played in the season, Stellenbosch are setting the pace in the NFD with 23 points, followed by Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila and TS Sporting, both on 19 points.

This season, the club was taken over by new owners – Remgro Limited and the Stellenbosch Academy of Sport – and, according to head coach Steve Barker, this is at the root of the club’s improvement and promotion drive.

“With the purchase of the club by the Stellenbosch Academy of Sport, it has had many benefits,” said Barker.

“It has also brought greater stability to the club, especially with having the owners based in Stellenbosch. It leads to a more hands-on approach and that has made all the difference.”

Barker also pointed out two other aspects which have seen Stellenbosch soar in the NFD this season.

“Playing our home games in Idas Valley (a Stellenbosch suburb) has been huge for us. With us playing at Athlone previously, I don’t think it really worked, which is why Idas Valley has been a big boost for us as a team.

“Also, I think that, in the off-season, we strengthened the squad well. We were able to maintain continuity, but at the same time add players to bring something to the team.

“The main aspect of our improvement this season has been the fact that we have put in place processes in terms of how we operate every day.

“The philosophy is that we want to be better than the day before; and that we always try to perform better than the game before.”


Cape Times

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