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HomeBetway PremiershipBarker Reveals What He Told Stellies Players At Half-Time

Barker Reveals What He Told Stellies Players At Half-Time

Stellenbosch FC head coach Steve Barker says he can’t repeat some of the words in public that he shared in the dressing room to inspire their comeback win over Orlando Pirates.

The 2023 Carling Knockout champions stunned the hosts with an eight-minute goal blitz in the second half after Pirates had taken a 2-0 lead in the opening hour.

And with the 3-2 win it propelled them above Pirates to third place in their final game of 2023, which he says might inspire his squad to even greater heights next year.

“Some words I can’t repeat, but no… you know what my biggest fear was after having such a good run [and] winning a cup, is that the players in training – Stellenbosch is quite this time of the year – we travel to training feeling like the only car in town,” Barker said when asked about his half-time team talk.

“I was afraid the players wouldn’t stand up and be counted, so my message was that, if you want to be champions, if you want to win trophies, compete at the top of the table, then you have to show more character, more personality, more desire and commitment than you have – and we just have to improve in certain areas.

“So it as quite a strong team talk and I think it paid dividends, I thought we came out with a lot more energy, although we conceded the second which was unfortunate because Sage Stephens has been superb for us for the last while and he saved us two points there at the end with the freekick save at the end.

“So it was a strong message to say, show who you are, show you can do it week in, week out and that you can come back from 1-0 down at Orlando [Stadium] which will give you the belief and confidence that we can do some special things this season.”

Stellenbosch will face AmaZulu in their next game in mid-February after the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations break.

Lorenz Kohler
Lorenz Kohler
Lorenz Köhler is an award-winning South African football journalist. Having cut his teeth in the industry working at Kick-Off Magazine, he is now iDiski Times' senior digital content writer. He specialises in breaking top African football stories and transfers with a major focus on the 'big-three' Mamelodi Sundowns, Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates and CAF inter-club and international competitions. In 2021 he was listed amongst the top-five journalists under 30 in Print Media for the AIPS Awards.