One of the success stories of the past PSL season was the fine form of newly-promoted side, University of Pretoria. Soccer-Laduma spoke to their coach, Steve Barker, about his thoughts on the season.
Many had thought that Tuks would struggle in their first season in South Africa’s top-flight, however an impressive start to the season set the tone for them and they went on to finish in eighth place in the league, qualifying for next year’s MTN8 tournament.
Barker explained that they have been planning for this season for a long time. He said, “I think we went into this season with some apprehension and fear not knowing what to expect, but the planning to be in the PSL has been going on for a few years, it’s been part of our vision. We knew that the day we got promoted we needed to be able to sustain that and the planning that we did laid the foundation for that.”
Meanwhile, Barker added that while his players had done well, it was credit to the whole club that their debut season had been such a success.
He said, “I think over and above the players we had a series of meetings with the boardroom and I made it clear what was required to be successful in the PSL and one of those things was bringing in a strong technical team. We needed a strong technical squad, keeping people like Sammy Troughton on board, and we managed to do that.
"Together with the support of the University it is very conducive for us to get on with our job and the players to do theirs.”
Barker will no doubt lose some of his star players in the current off-season, but he will also be strengthening his squad in certain areas as he attempts to have an ever better campaign next time around.