Stellenbosch coach Steve Barker: Pain of not making finals will drive us forward

Stellenbosch coach Steve Barker says the hurt of missing out on two previous finals is the driving force ahead of their Carling Knockout Cup semi-final with Richards Bay.

Barker’s side made it to the semis of the MTN8 this season where they lost on the away goals rule to winners Orlando Pirates.

They also narrowly lost on penalties to Sekhuhkhune United in the semi-finals of the Nedbank Cup.

But they have been in fine form in the DStv Premiership and mot recently defeated Cape Town Spurs 3-0, to extend their unbeaten streak to seven games across all competitions.

And ahead of the weekend’s fixture, Barker is hoping his side’s recent cup heartbreak will help carry his side through.

Barker said in the Sowetan: “Momentum is a big thing. You become confident when you are winning matches. That’s a very key factor.

“It’s lessons learnt as well. We’ve come close in two semi-finals, but we didn’t make the finals. The pain we felt when we didn’t make the final should remind us that it hurts not to get there.

“I think we are mature as a team in terms of playing semi-finals. So, hopefully that maturity and the previous pain of not making finals will drive us forward, though it won’t be easy for us.”