Stellenbosch FC hope to take the heat out of the Chilli Boys

Bafana Bafana midfielder Jayden Adams could be a key figure for Stellenbosch FC against Chippa United on Friday night. Photo: BackpagePix

Bafana Bafana midfielder Jayden Adams could be a key figure for Stellenbosch FC against Chippa United on Friday night. Photo: BackpagePix

Published Mar 1, 2024


Mindful to ‘beware the ides of March’, Stellenbosch FC coach Steve Barker has cautioned his charges to be at their best ahead of tonight’s game against Chippa United.

The Danie Craven Stadium in the Cape Winelands will be the venue for tonight’s DStv Premiership encounter against the visiting Eastern Cape side (7.30pm kick-off).

Barker is hoping a victory for Stellenbosch, who are fourth in the league standings with 27 points – behind Mamelodi Sundowns (42), Cape Town City and SuperSport United (both 31) – will set the tone for matches to follow later this month.

“The match against Chippa United is extremely important, and the start of a big run of fixtures ahead for us,” head coach Steve Barker said.

“Chippa have a good team, so we will have to be at our best to get a good result.

“But we are looking forward to the match, and to the Coetzenberg crowd getting behind us on the night.

“They help energise the team to play to their potential and to up their performances beyond their usual energy and intensity.”

After last week’s Nedbank Cup round-of-16 win over Pretoria Callies at the same venue, Stellies will head into this match with confidence.

Tonight’s encounter will be the 11th meeting between Stellenbosch and Chippa across all competitions, with the most recent tie ending 0-0 in the reverse league fixture in November.

At home, Stellies are riding a three-match winning streak in league games, and have taken 12 points from a possible 21 so far this season.

Chippa also come into this match off the back of a Nedbank Cup victory, following their 2-1 win over NC Pros at the weekend.

That followed a 1-1 draw with Cape Town City in the league a week earlier, marking their third consecutive PSL match without victory.

The Chilli Boys have struggled on the road this season, and are currently on a three-match losing streak on the road in league games and winless in four.

One player in the Chippa team who will enjoy special attention from Stellenbosch’s technical team is Nigerian goalkeeper Stanley Nwabali, who was one of the stars at the recent Africa Cup of Nations in Ivory Coast.

He arrived at the continental tournament as the understudy to the Super Eagles’ regular No 1 shot-stopper, Francis Uzoho, but played in every match as the team advanced to the Afcon final, where they lost against the Ivorians.

It was a remarkable performance from Nwabali, who earned the wrath of Bafana Bafana fans after he saved two penalties during the shoot-out in Nigeria’s win over South Africa in the semi-final.

Stellenbosch fans will hope that their own Bafana Afcon squad member, Jayden Adams, can be the difference and get the better of Nwabali tonight.