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Steve Barker’s Carling Knockout Cup Motivation Goes Beyond Stellenbosch FC’s Trophy Cabinet
- Steve Barker has sought to bring success to Stellenbosch FC for reasons off of the pitch
- Stellenbosch will be aiming for their first trophy when they play TS Galaxy in the final
- Barker hopes to dedicate the win to two personalities close to his and his player's hearts
Stellenbosch FC are drawing inspiration from beyond the touchline. As the Maroons prepare for their first major cup final, they do so with the memory of close fallen friends in their minds.
The squad was rocked in February when one of their players was fatally injured while on a night out, while coach Steve Barker lost a family member and mentor in June after a lengthy illness.
Oshwin Andries was a Stellenbosch academy graduate who played for South Africa's U20s and was already a first-team regular. Barker's uncle, Clive was the legendary coach of South Africa's only AFCON-winning team.
One had his whole career ahead of him while the other had dedicated his to football in the country. As reported by SowetanLive, Barker said:
"Right from the beginning of the year, we lost one of our soldiers in Oshwin. I lost my uncle, Clive, so for me, I dedicate going to the final to both Oshwin and Clive."
Stellenbosch have been on a phenomenal run, winning all three of their Carling Knockout Cup games away from home. They will again play away in the final, but in an environment Barker knows well. As reported by TimesLive, he said:
"I grew up in Durban. Hopefully, I can come back in two weeks and do our club proud by going all the way and winning the final."
Before the cup final, they warm up with a stern home test against Cape Town City, but standing in the way of their maiden major trophy are the 2019 Nedbank Cup winners, TS Galaxy.
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Stellenbosch FC play TS Galaxy in the tourney's final on December 16 at the Moses Mabhida Stadium.