Steve Barker: Skelem has 'immense talent'

Lelethu Skelem in action against Maritzburg United.

Stellenbosch head coach Steve Barker is excited to see how Lelethu Skelem develops and says the midfielder is already challenging for a starting berth.

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The 21-year-old Stellenbosch local has slowly been eased into the first team with mostly substitute appearances, but he made the starting lineup against Maritzburg United in the Nedbank Cup round of 32 and scored the equaliser for 2-2 to force a penalty shoot-out, which United went on to win.

Skelem trusts he will be given more opportunities in Barker's team and is determined to make the most of them as he aims to establish himself as a regular starter.

"It's difficult to crack a spot with so many good players vying for the same position. Everyone's on form, so I have to get on the same level to have a chance," said Skelem, according to IOL.

"I just have to keep working hard and, when I get my chance, create chances and score to force my way into the reckoning."

Asked about Skelem, Barker said: "Just a bit on his history: he was playing regional football in the Safa SAB League two years ago before we decided to promote him to the National First Division last season. He did well, got some good game time. But obviously in the elite division he's still young and developing as a footballer.

"He's got immense talent, so we are very excited about what he can offer the club going forward. Come the younger players, it's about integrating them at the right time.

"He is playing really well of late and is knocking on the door to be starting."