Barker plans to turn Danie Craven Stadium into a fortress

Stellies hoping to get first win of season against Chippa

Phathutshedzo Nange of Bidvest Wits challenges Thabiso Mokoena of Black Leopards.
Phathutshedzo Nange of Bidvest Wits challenges Thabiso Mokoena of Black Leopards.
Image: Sydney Mahlangu/Gallo Images/BackpagePix

Even though they are yet to win a match in the DStv Premiership this season, Stellenbosch want to turn the Danie Craven Stadium into their fortress.

Stellies used the Cape Town Stadium as their home ground last season, but will play all their home matches in Stellenbosch this season.  

Coach Steve Barker said playing in the small town would make his team hard to beat, and they intend to make life difficult for visiting teams this season.

Their first game at the venue ended in a disappointing 1-1 draw against newly promoted Swallows on the opening day of the season. Barker’s men have drawn two matches and lost one this season. But they have another chance to register their first three points at home when they host Chippa United on Saturday (3.30pm).

Barker said he is hoping to finish the season in the top eight. He said management opened the cheque book for him to sign new players, and true to his word, the former AmaZulu coach has been busy in the transfer market. Stellies have strengthened their team and are ready to compete in the Premiership.  

Barker signed Mswati Mavuso from Mamelodi Sundowns, Nigerian winger Stanley Dimgba and Phathutshedzo Nange.

“We are looking forward to playing at the Danie Craven Stadium. The plan is to make it a fortress. We want to make life difficult for the visiting teams here this season,” said Barker, who is the type of coach who banks on home matches.

Stellies were hoping to move to the Danie Craven Stadium before the end of last season, but the Covid-19 pandemic interrupted their plans. 

Barker is patient with his boys and says that he enjoys the full backing of the management. “I had a five-year plan to promote the team to the PSL, but we got here ahead of schedule. If we finish in the top eight, we will be happy. I have all the support that I need here,” added Barker.   

DStv Premiership fixtures

Saturday

Golden Arrows v Kaizer Chiefs, Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium, 3.30pm

Stellenbosch v Chippa United, Danie Craven Stadium, 3.30pm

Black Leopards v Maritzburg United, Thohoyandou Stadium, 3.30pm

Orlando Pirates v SuperSport United, Orlando Stadium, 6pm

Swallows v TS Galaxy, Dobsonville Stadium, 8.15pm

Sunday

Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila v Baroka, Thohoyandou Stadium, 3.30pm

Mamelodi Sundowns v AmaZulu, Loftus Versfeld, 3.30pm

Cape Town City v Bloemfontein Celtic, Cape Town Stadium, 3.30pm   

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