Stellenbosch FC itching to topple Kaizer Chiefs

Mogamad Rafiq De Goede of Stellenbosch FC lines up a wall during the Absa Premiership 2019/20 game between Stellenbosch FC and Highlands Park at Cape Town Stadium on 9 November 2019.
Mogamad Rafiq De Goede of Stellenbosch FC lines up a wall during the Absa Premiership 2019/20 game between Stellenbosch FC and Highlands Park at Cape Town Stadium on 9 November 2019.
Image: © Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

Marc van Heerden says Stellenbosch FC’s senior brigade have been talking the club’s youngsters through what to expect when they clash with Kaizer Chiefs in a vital Absa Premiership encounter at the Cape Town Stadium on Wednesday.

Former Orlando Pirates full-back Van Heerden is expecting a backlash from the AmaKhosi following their limp display in a 2-1 Telkom Knockout semifinal defeat against Maritzburg United on Sunday.

Van Heerden had a roller-coaster ride the last time he faced Chiefs in the colours of AmaZulu in January‚ when he scored a first minute own goal and a last-minute strike at the right end in a 3-2 loss‚ and says for Stellies youngsters it is about “calming the storm” that is coming.

The Winelands club will be without veteran former Chiefs defender Morgan Gould‚ who is suspended‚ but that does not mean he hasn’t been vocal on the sidelines.

“It is not only Morgan‚ Robyn [Johannes] has been there‚ he has played for Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns‚" he said.

"I have played for Pirates. [Goalkeeper] Boy [De Jong] has played at the highest level in Europe.

“We need to show them [the younger players] that it will be tough‚ but added to that you have the crowd and the pressure on Chiefs‚ they need a win to keep the momentum going in the lead.

“You have to get the youngsters on board and I think us senior guys have just tried to calm the storm.”

Van Heerden knows that he will have to lead by example on the pitch‚ but has also warned his teammates of the traps in the game‚ which many will not be used to having spent their entire careers in the National First Division.

“It is about imparting some wisdom to the younger players. You are going to be playing in front of 25‚000 plus people‚ so it is things like not being able to hear each other on the pitch‚ not being able to hear instructions from the coach.

“Always be aware of what you are doing and where you are on the field. That is what we as senior players have to do. As a footballer you want to play in matches like this‚ with crowds like this.

“So it is just imparting a little bit of what you have experienced in the past onto them‚ and controlling the emotions‚ and not letting the occasion get to them. They must play their normal game."

Van Heerden has only been part of a winning team against Chiefs once in his 14-year professional career‚ a 3-1 success for Chippa United in December 2016.

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