Monday Jul 20, 2020. 11:00
Stellenbosch FC coach Steve Barker says the break in the 2019-20 Premier Soccer League (PSL) season should be a lesson in learning to appreciate football.
The PSL has been on hold since March due to the coronavirus pandemic, with no clear indication as to when it will resume.
Barker admits frustration at waiting for the season to resume, but also believes that players, fans and everyone involved in football will no longer take the game for granted.
“When it [the break] happened, we didn’t know how long it would take. The longer it went the more frustrating it became,” Barker was quoted by Phakaaathi as having told the South African Football Journalists Association.
“Some players forget their love [for the game] and why they play the game… if you play week in and week out, you tend to forget. A lot of them have come back refreshed, happy to see the ball, happy to be playing football again. This game provides for us and we should appreciate it.
“We are ready to fulfil our fixtures. We have to be ready for any eventuality – whatever date we have to start, whatever the fixture list will throw at us … even if we are to play every second day.
“It is not ideal [crammed fixtures], but we also want to get back to playing football. It is our livelihood. We want to be active again and complete the season.”
Barker added, “It is our job to finish this league we still have to complete and stay in this league which was our objective from day one. We still have work to do.
“We just have to block off all the noise around us and not let the uncertainty bother us. We have to worry about our next training session and not look too far ahead, and wait for the direction [from PSL].”
Stellenbosch were placed 11th when the season was suspended, four points clear of the relegation zone with six matches of the campaign remaining.