Stellenbosch looking forward to a good Cup run
CAPE TOWN – Coach Steve Barker says his Stellenbosch FC team are looking forward to having a good run in the Nedbank Cup.
His side face a tough start to the knockout competition taking on PSL rivals Maritzburg United in a round of 32 clash at Athlone Stadium tonight (8pm kickoff).
They two teams have met once before this season in the league, where it ended goalless in Cape Town in August.
“It’s always a nice welcome relief for the club and players to play Cup matches and not have the pressure of the league every week,” said Barker. “It’s a great competition to be part of and we will see how far we will go. It’s not an easy draw for us, but I would think our opposition are thinking the same thing.
“We are looking forward to a very entertaining match. We have a couple of new additions to the squad and it may provide an opportunity to give them a run. The mood in the camp is really good, upbeat and everybody is raring to go.”
Zambian international Nathan Sinkala and former Orlando Pirates player Asavela Mbekile are the two latest recruits who could make their debuts against Maritzburg.
Sinkaka will be playing his first match in South Africa. He was highly rated a few years ago so it will be interesting to see how he fairs. Mbekile has been around for years and while he might be on the other side of 30, he always gives his all.
“We are an ambitious club,” said Barker. “We want to be a successful club, one that challenges for silverware, hence us bringing in these two guys with plenty of experience to help us on our way. But the team hasn’t been finalised yet for the game ahead. I will have to put a lot of thought into my selections taking into account some players are carrying niggles, some haven’t had game time and some being on three yellow cards. On top of that the game could go into extra time.“
Stellenbosch right-back Kristopher Bergman says his teammates are excited to be playing at home again after a long trip back from Limpopo last weekend where their 2-1 league defeat to Black Leopards ended a three-match winning run.
“We have been working hard on our game from a tactical point of view and are ready for the game with United. We urge all our supporters to come out and back us,” Bergman said.
Mike de Bruyn