Stellenbosch suffer blow ahead of Mamelodi Sundowns showdown
Stellenbosch FC have had the guts ripped out of their midfield by injury ahead of Wednesday’s catch-up fixture at champions Mamelodi Sundowns‚ retarding their hopes of an upset result and getting off bottom place in the premiership standings.
Captain Jarrod Moroole‚ Kris Bergman and Robyn Johannes are all out of the game at Loftus Versfeld in what Stellenbosch coach Steve Barker termed “a massive blow”.
“They are three experienced‚ three quality players so it is a blow.
“We do have Ashley du Preez who is back. He was injured for the first half of the season but is available now.
“But‚ yes‚ losing those three is a bit of a blow.”
Barker will turn to Mpho Matsi‚ Junior Awono and Nkanyiso Zungu to try and keep pace with Sundowns’ quick flowing play in the middle of the park.
“It will be something similar to the midfield we had in our last game‚” he added.
Stellenbosch were also in Tshwane for their previous outing which was a morale-boosting 1-1 draw at SuperSport United on November 30.
Barker is working on getting the balance right between the new players he has brought in to strengthen the squad and those that helped the club win last season’s National First Division.
“Over a 30 game season‚ the quality and experience that we’ve brought in carries you. A lot of the players who were in the NFD with us will do well and become really good PSL players.
“But right now‚ it’s getting the balance right with a bit of experience needed in the team as well as some of the younger energy.
“Everyone is important to us in the team and everyone has a role to play. I’m still very confident we have enough in the locker to stay in the league.
“Yes‚ it’s going to be tough.
"We knew it wouldn’t be easy but we have enough commitment and mentality around the club to understand that we have to battle each week and pick up points where we can.”