Stellenbosch Football Club: The place where you learn all about life with a ball at your feet!

History of the Stellenbosch Football Club

Their Dream and Vision: ” To build a sustainable football pathway and brand for the Cape Winelands region and be a catalyst for social upliftment, and we strive to make an impact on and off the field of play.”

The Club was formed in August 2016 when the Premier Soccer League Executive Committee approved the application from the National First Division side, Vasco Da Gama, for a name change following the relocation from Parow to the Stellenbosch Academy of Sport ( SAS). The Stellenbosch Football Club‘s first National First Division game was played on August 28, 2016.

In 2017, they finished eighth in the league. In August 2018 the Stellenbosch Academy of Sport purchased the club. During the final round of the 2018-2019 season, under the leadership of Steve Barker, the Club had their first title victory and promotion to the Absa Premiership ( now DSTV Premiership).

In October 2020, the SFC made history by playing the first PSL game against Moroka Swallows Football Club at the Danie Craven Stadium. DSTV DiskiChallenge matches are played at Idas Valley Stadium, while DSTV Premiership matches are played at the Danie Craven Stadium.

Coach Steve Barker

Steven Robert ” Steve” Barker was born in 1967 in Maseru, Lesotho. He played soccer since he was a little boy. Steve grew up in a soccer family. He is the nephew of former South African football coach Clive William Barker, who guided the South African national team to their only African Nations Cup title in 1996. Clive was a local television commentator during the 2010 World Cup.

When Steve was in grade 6, the family moved to Windhoek. He spent his high school years in Potchefstroom. His coaching career started when he was player-coach for his local air force base team. He later also became a player-coach for both the SAAF- and SANDF teams.

In 2000 he represented Wits University, and in 2012 he was coaching AmaTuks and led this young team to the final in the Premier Soccer League.

Since 2018, he started coaching the SFC and, under his leadership, took the team to the Absa Premiership (now DSTV Premiership).

“I don’t have time for hobbies. I treat my job as a hobby. It’s something I love doing” – David Beckham

Steve is a family man first. He has a daughter, Nikita, attending Rhenish High School in Stellenbosch, and he has three stepsons. He loves to relax with his family by going to local markets and enjoy socializing with his friends over a cold beer or good wine.

But at the end of the day, being a coach is one of the most rewarding professions for Steve. Coaching is not just about playing a game; it’s about valuable life lessons that can be applied to all aspects of life.

Steve has a sense of confidence about what he is doing. He has to be a salesman and has to get his players, particularly his leaders, to believe in what he is trying to accomplish on the soccer field.

The experience of being a coach is exciting and emotional but also challenging and nerve-wracking- especially when it comes down to one game. There are no guarantees with coaching, except for the fact that you’ll be sure to learn a valuable lesson. After all, he is the person who will mould his players into the best versions of themselves and guide them along through adversity or victory.

Good coaching may be defined as the development of character, personality and habits of players, plus the teaching of fundamentals and team play.

Steve credits all his success to hard work. No one has a lucky career. If he does not work hard, he won’t be successful. To him, soccer is so much more than a ball and two goals; it connects people from all corners of the world.

“I think there is a lot of things that soccer does in the communities that transcend the soccer field” – Brandi Denise Chastain

Steve also believes that soccer can bring people together as a community. Soccer players elevate to a certain level of celebrity. Soccer players inspire and motivate. They give hope to the hopeless, even if that just meant playing soccer together; that could be the beginning of something good.

Two years ago, the SFC started the u.12 – u.18 Academy. These SFC Academy teams play in the High-Performance League against other CT based teams. In the build-up to the 2019 season, more than 500 players took part in rigorous trials at the Cloetesville, Kayamandi and Idas Valley sports grounds. The head of the Youth Academy is Jose Cabral, and each team has their coach.

This Club makes it possible for players to fulfil their dream; it gives them a purpose for what they do in Stellenbosch. Starting as young players, they can work towards a goal to make the national teams.

” Give a man a soccer ball; he plays for a moment. Teach a man to play soccer; he plays for a lifetime.”

At the SFC, the players are taught to believe in themselves. They are encouraged to make their dreams a reality and to become the best soccer player they can be.

The team is mainly made out of South African born players, and they have a lot of players which are born and bred in Stellenbosch. Players from abroad are Junior Leandro Mendieta ( an Argentine professional footballer), Stanley Sopuruch and Ibraheem Jabaar ( Nigerians) and Ally Msengi ( Tanzania).

The players know that success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and love of what they are doing or learning to do. Being great today isn’t enough; you have to be great tomorrow, next week and next year. There’s always some aspect of their game or life that can be improved upon, and getting better should always be the task for tomorrow.

“As long as there are games to play, it is not over”- Sir Alex Ferguson

As a result, Steve is willing to do everything he could to ensure that his team continue to establish itself in the DSTV Premiership. They are still hoping and dreaming of playing before a packed capacity crowd in the Danie Craven Stadium. He wants to build the “ultimate dream team” booming in Africa, a diverse team in the league that contributes to social upliftment and builds sustainable partnerships. They want to strive to be a trusted brand and create a club that symbolises the Cape Winelands Community.

They are on a pathway of building something special, and they want to take this community with them: to be a place where you learn all about life with a ball at your feet.

Stellenbosch Football Club: You make us proud.