Unbeaten Stellenbosch FC run ‘surreal’ for Steve Barker after win over Kaizer Chiefs

Devin Titus watches on as his shot beats Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper Bruce Bvuma for Stellenbosch FC’s winning goal. Photo: BackpagePix

Devin Titus watches on as his shot beats Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper Bruce Bvuma for Stellenbosch FC’s winning goal. Photo: BackpagePix

Published Apr 4, 2024


Stellenbosch FC continue to take local football by storm as their unstoppable form has carried them to an incredible unbeaten run of 19 matches across all competitions.

On Tuesday evening, Stellenbosch defeated Kaizer Chiefs 1-0 – with Devin Titus grabbing the winner – at the FNB Stadium, and the victory allowed the club to consolidate second position on the DStv Premiership log.

The young Cape Winelands side have been in rude health of late. Before their away conquest against Chiefs, Stellenbosch beat Royal AM 3-0, and a few days prior, scored a 6-1 win over Chiefs slayers Milford FC.

Stellies coach Steve Barker is over the moon with his team.

“I can’t speak highly enough of this group of players,” said Barker. “It’s now 19 games unbeaten, of which 15 are wins, and you can see out there that the players are getting what they deserve for the effort they’re putting in.

“It is a massive result for us to get, and to solidify our position in second with nine games remaining.

“There’s still a lot of football to be played, and 27 points to play for. But if you had asked me at the beginning of the season if we would be in the position we are in, I probably wouldn’t have believed you.

“It’s a bit surreal for me sometimes, the run we are on. But it’s important to maintain concentration, focus, and get back up for another big game against Sekhukhune United on Saturday (at home).

“We’ve got to get back to Cape Town, rest and recover, and then put on a big performance for a team that is also in good form at the moment.”

Barker feels the squad have the depth to carry their form into the final stages of the season.

“We’ve got a small squad and sometimes that can be challenging, but it also has its advantages,” said Barker.

“Everyone is playing a massive role – sometimes by starting, with others coming off the bench, and other times with it the other way around.

“The whole team is committed and in a good space, and they all feel as though they are contributing to the cause.

Players like Devin Titus, Jayden Adams, Antonio van Wyk, Qobolwakhe Sibande, Athenkosi Mcaba and all our young players have that experience now, and they’ve learned how not to lose matches.

“We’ve also won a cup, and I think that taste of success has helped them see that it also brings individual rewards, with some players getting called up to the Bafana Bafana squad recently.

“All of that means we’re in a good space at this stage. Everyone is contributing and everyone is playing a massive role.

“We have an attacking line-up where everyone is capable of scoring or creating goals, so I think we are a difficult team to play against.

“If we can solidify our defence like we have done with the last two clean sheets in a row, then I think we can continue this good run.”

Barker was full of praise for Titus, whose match-winning effort downed Chiefs, his sixth goal of the campaign.

The 23-year-old midfielder has been phenomenal this season.

“The less said, the better, in my opinion. We do our business the way we do our business. Sometimes being under the radar is not a bad thing,” said Barker.

“I just look at a player like Devin Titus, for example. If you look at goal contributions, assists and goals scored, he should win young player of the season. If it was tomorrow he’d win by a country mile.

“I do believe we will get the credit and reward that we deserve.”