Stellenbosch mentor Steve Barker is finally reaping the rewards of the faith he has shown in young footballers over the years.
DURBAN – Stellenbosch coach, Steve Barker is reaping the rewards of the faith he has shown in youngsters over the years.
Barker gave debuts to Athenkosi Mcaba and Solomon Letsoenye at the weekend against Mamelodi Sundowns and the defensive duo repaid the coach’s belief in them as they held their own against the best team in the country.
The former AmaTuks mentor revealed that affording some of the country’s brightest talent the opportunity to make the jump into the Premier Soccer League gave him great joy.
“A part of my passion is witnessing players grow and develop. I have always felt that youngsters need to be given the opportunity because without those chances, we will never find out what they are capable of.”
“I try to put them in situations where their level is tested and if they are able to cope with some of the best players at the club then there’s no reason why they can’t get their chance,” he said.
The former Amazulu coach has been responsible for giving debuts to the likes of Andile Jali, Grant Kenana and current Stellies leading man, Ashley Du Preez.
Barker believes that with the right attitude, a player of any age deserves the opportunity to prove themselves.
“The commitment and attitude of young players is something I pay close attention to. I try to look at their tactical and technical awareness but any player between the ages of 16-19, with the right mentality at training everyday, deserves to play,” Barker added.