Steve Barker explains how Stellenbosch FC attract players like Nathan Sinkala
Stellenbosch FC coach Steve Barker says it is the facilities and solid platform offered by his new club that has seen them attract players such as Zambia star Nathan Sinkala to their ranks.
Sinkala‚ still only 29‚ was a crucial member of Zambia’s 2012 Africa Cup of Nations triumph when he was a 21-year-old emerging star on the continent.
After a career that has taken the dynamic attacking midfielder to France and Switzerland‚ Sinkala was a coup signing among a host of experienced players brought in by Barker shoring up his promoted team’s squad in the January transfer window.
The signings have contributed to a sturdy first season in the Premiership for Stellenbosch‚ who are in 11th place as the league gears for its return to play on August 11.
This after the club were promoted as champions after a year in the National First Division under their current name and structure of ownership by Stellenbosch investment company Remgro and its subsidiary‚ the Stellenbosch Academy of Sport (SAS).
“Nathan Sinkala has been a massive boost to the team. In January we had a really good transfer window bringing in players like Asavela Mbekile‚ Granwald Scott‚ Ovidy Karuru and Sinkala‚” Barker said.
“I just felt we needed to bring in that experience and quality to finish the last half of the season strong.
“Nathan has had a huge impact at the club‚ just in terms of his ability‚ the quality that he brings‚ and he just exudes confidence on the field of play.
“There are many other players who have requested for us to have a look at them – players who have played for their national teams and in Europe.
“I think one of the reasons is the world-class facilities we have. Cape Town is a drawcard. And Stellenbosch is a wonderful city to be in.
“The municipality and the community are behind the team‚ and we’ve got strong leadership and a clear direction of where we want to take the club.
“If you Google the club you can see what we are about and what we want to achieve‚ what our objectives and strategies are. And that makes players want to join us because they see it as a solid platform where they can play their football or use it perhaps to kick on to better things.
“I think those are some of the reasons we were able to attract players like Nathan‚ and others who will be joining the club in the coming months.”
Barker finds himself in familiar territory at an academy-based team with ties to a university (Stellenbosch University is a partner of SAS)‚ as he coached University of Pretoria FC for six years‚ promoting them to the Premiership in 2012.
Stellenbosch (27 points from 24 games) meet Lamontville Golden Arrows in their first match back from the suspension of football due to the coronavirus at Tuks Stadium on Saturday‚ August 15.