Barker's Beat - AmaTuks vs Orlando Pirates

A warm welcome to everyone in attendance this afternoon.

It is indeed another milestone for us as a club to be able to play at one of South Africa's iconic stadiums, against such an illustrious opponent as Orlando Pirates. I trust this occasion will be special and enjoyed by all.                                                      

Wow, what a fantastic result for the team last weekend against Ajax in Cape Town. Ajax are notoriously difficult to beat in their own back yard. Not only getting the victory but the manner in which it was achieved was really outstanding.

A special mention must be made of Aubrey Ngoma who scored 4 magnificent goals. I am especially proud of him since he is a true product of our Junior and Academy Programme. After joining the junior program in 2005 he was then taken up into our Academy in 2006. I recall the days of Aubrey having to wake up each morning as early as 04:00 to travel from Hammanskraal to be at training each day at 06:00. I am really pleased for Aubrey that his determination and commitment has allowed him to reach his dream of playing in the PSL. To score 4 goals in a single match is just amazing.

We attribute the victory over Ajax to the discipline and patience in our defensive shape. We knew they were desperate for a home win and that if they were not leading as the game went on we could capitalise on their desperation to push forward for the victory. This fortunately worked out as planned.

The players continue to make our technical staff proud with their commitment to work hard with determination and resolution to be successful. These attributes shown by the players are non-negotiable and must continue.                                            

This afternoon we host a formidable opponent. In the last 2 seasons Pirates have dominated both the league and cup competitions. They have the all-round quality and have shown a lot of team spirit in recent times. They have not had the best of starts to the season as they would have hoped for. They have just come off a loss away to Bloemfontein Celtic and will be looking to bounce back immediately. This will make them a desperate and dangerous opponent. As much as we respect them we must not fear them. We ourselves must continue to play with the confidence and belief that we have been playing with. We need to register a home win and doing so at Loftus Versfeld in front of a large crowd would be fantastic.

The support and well wishes we have been receiving from everyone has been amazing. We need to continue growing our supporters’ base. I urge all our supporters to come in numbers to the games and to continue to show your support. Let's encourage one another to buy replica shirts and come to matches wearing them to demonstrate our loyalty and support to the team.                                                    

To all the 'AmaTuks' fans out there, my wish today is to reward you with a victory over the mighty Buccaneers.

Yours in football,

Steve Barker