Barker hails ‘special day’ after Stellies stun Sundowns

Steve Barker was understandably delighted after Stellenbosch FC stunned champions Mamelodi Sundowns at TUKS Stadium on Saturday, some clinical attacking play sinking Masandawana 3-0 in the DStv Premiership.

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Sundowns had their opportunities, but Stellenbosch showed why they have been one of the surprise packages of the 2021/22 campaign, this victory ensuring qualification for next season’s MTN8 .

“For the whole football club this is a special day, to achieve what we have with these youngsters, to be in the backyard of Sundowns and beat them 3-0,” said Barker.

24 year-old Ashley Du Preez netted twice for Stellies while 21 year-old Jayden Adams also scored with a brilliant lob over Ricardo Goss, who had a day to forget in a rare start for Sundowns.

“We started the season well, went 11 games unbeaten, and then had a bit of a wobble midway through, but we have finished strong. We have one more game against Cape Town City but have achieved our objective of finishing in the top eight and now we can dream of finishing even higher up the table. So this was a magnificent day for us,” added Barker.

Sundowns had already wrapped up the title, of course, so could be forgiven an off-day in the circumstances, but co-head coach Rulani Mokwena still reserved plenty of praise for Barker and his side.

“It was one of those things that happen in football,” said Mokwena.

“Congrats to Stevie Barker. If this has to happen I would rather it happens to Stevie … he is an incredible gentleman, and incredible servant of the game, and has made a lot of history on this pitch (Barker was head coachat TUKS from 2008-2014, getting them promoted to the Premiership in 2012).

“Some things are written in the stars and we have to accept it.”

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