Battle of the Steves renewed

Stellenbosch coach Steve Barker has had battles in the past with Kaizer Chiefs coach Steve Komphela.
Stellenbosch coach Steve Barker has had battles in the past with Kaizer Chiefs coach Steve Komphela.
Image: Chris Ricco /BackpagePix

When Steve Barker thinks back to the final day of the Premiership season in 2015, he can't help but be overcome by a feeling of regret and anguish.

With their place in the Premiership on the line, Barker's AmaZulu were pitted against a Maritzburg United team coached by Steve Komphela.

AmaZulu missed numerous golden scoring opportunities and got relegated after a 2-1 loss to Maritzburg, who clinched their maiden top eight finish.

That match had contrasting outcomes for the two Steves. While Barker sank down to the lower tier, Komphela went on to become the coach of Kaizer Chiefs.

"That match was probably the biggest disappointment of my coaching career," he said.

"We were fighting for survival and they were fighting for their first top eight finish, it was very painful."

For the first time since that defining match, the two Steves will do battle once again when Stellenbosch take on Amakhosi in the Nedbank Cup last 16 tomorrow.

"I have had some battles against Steve in the past. They tend to be tight affairs with both teams being well-organised," said Barker.

The 50-year-old, who guided AmaTuks to promotion six years ago, is confident his team can pull off a shock result against Chiefs at the Moses Mabhida Stadium.

"Certainly we are going out there with the belief that we can get an upset against them otherwise why would we be wasting our time?"

It would not be the first time Barker gets the better of the Glamour Boys in the cup competition after having steered AmaTuks to a famous 4-3 win back in 2009 to knock them out in the last 16.

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