Stellenbosch’s Steve Barker driven by the success of his players

Stellenbosch’s Steve Barker says winning trophies is only part of what drives him as a coach.

Barker guided his side to their first top-flight trophy with the defeat of TS Galaxy in the final of the Carling Knockout Cup.

Stellies claimed a 5-4 penalty win at the Moses Mabhida Stadium after the game ended 1-1 after extra time.

Barker was also at the helm when Stellies earned promotion to the DStv Premiership for the 2019/20, while he steered his side to two cup semi-finals in recent seasons.

But the head coach explained that he has been making a big impact in the game for a number of years – culminating in their recent cup victory.

He said in the Sowetan: “For me it’s not about any accolades and I always maintain I will continue to serve my players and create opportunities for them.

“Back in the Tuks [University of Pretoria FC] days we saw people like Andile Jali, Bongani Khumalo, Marc van Heerden, Aubrey Ngoma and a lot of other players who have gone on to have good careers, and that is the gratitude I get from the job I do.

“If I see players going all the way and doing well for themselves, playing in Europe and achieving things [that brings satisfaction].

“This season we have had players going to Kaizer Chiefs, and Olwethu Makhanya was here today. He was on the field with us [celebrating the cup victory]. He is playing in the MLS [Major League Soccer in the US].”

Barker added: “I don’t need to be told I’m doing a good job. What makes me come to work every morning is to serve the players and create opportunities for them.”