Barker says cup final is a special day in Stellenbosch history

An historic day awaits Stellenbosch FC on Saturday afternoon when the club takes part in its first-ever cup final. Stellies come up against TS Galaxy in the showpiece finale of the 2023 Carling Knockout. 

The highly anticipated final will be played at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday and kick-off is at 3pm.

Speaking ahead of the encounter, Stellies head coach Steve Barker declared the day a special occasion for the club and highlighted his desire to go all the way and bring the trophy home to the people of Stellenbosch.

“It’s very special to be in the final of the Carling Knockout,” Barker said.

“As a young club, it’s special not only for the players, but for the owners and management who have invested in the club, the technical staff, the community of Stellenbosch, and for the town itself.

“It’s a very special occasion for everyone involved in Stellenbosch and hopefully we can go one step further and win the trophy. Getting into the final is one thing, but going on to win is obviously the aim on the weekend.

First time looming for Nurkovic

“It is a massive occasion and I think we can all be very proud of what we have achieved and what we are setting up to achieve, and hopefully Saturday can be a special moment with us lifting the trophy.”

“When asked about the importance and magnitude of the match, Barker added: “I think it is the biggest game in the club’s history.

“When we played in the National First Division we won the league on the last day of the season to get promoted. That was one of the biggest days in the club’s history.

TS Galaxy against Stellies
TS Galaxy striker Samir Nurkovic. / Gallo Images

From the other side of final match, Galaxy striker Samir Nurkovic says that dedication will be crucial come match day.

“I have never achieved something like that before [winning a trophy] in South Africa, but I am also not putting myself under pressure that I must win a trophy,” Nurkovic said during a media briefing at Sturrock Park training grounds midweek.

“That is because it’s important to stay firmly grounded and to keep on working hard, push ourselves to the maximum and just do what the coach requires from us. If winning the competition is meant to be, then it will be. What is important for us is to put in the hard work and everything else will follow,” he added.

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