Vellios to use derby festival to test players' readiness

Angelo Vellios @ Gallo Images

Stellenbosch FC coach Evangelos Vellios says the upcoming DStv Diski Challenge derby weekend festival at Tsakane Stadium will be a barometer to test some of his players' readiness for the big stage.

According to Evangelos, festivals come with a lot of pressure as it is always packed at the Stadium and that makes sense, it is easy for them to see which players can handle pressure and which ones need to be given attention to improve.

“I love the festivals because they give the derby sort of pressure on the boys being on national television. It creates an atmosphere, arousal, which they will have to learn how to deal with. You can see quickly who are the ones that can handle big stages and who are the ones who needs more time,” explained Vellios.

“I think it is one of the key pillars to see when players are more ready, can they perform when the crowd is around them. I love festivals, it is great for them, gives them exposure and I think the standard of Diski on the festival it has been really good, we have seen top performances which bodes well for our country. There’s under-20 this weekend and a lot of Diski challenge players have been selected which is good.”

The 2021-22 DDC Champions will face rivals Cape Town Spurs in the first match on Sunday at 1 pm.

Stellies are hoping to complete a double over Spurs after welcoming them back in the Diski Challenge with a 2-0 thumping early in the season.

The coach stated: “Obviously we know Spurs, a little bit of their DNA. We have not watched any of their recent games but we will try and do that but we always try to focus on ourselves more. We have a clear style we want to play, clear game model that we want to implement, and we rather focus our energy there and make sure they boys cam implement that at their best ability.”

Stellies are second in the Diski Challenge table with 48 points after 22 matches. They are two points behind log leaders Mamelodi Sundowns. They are waiting for Sundowns to slip up so they can pounce.

Vellios said he is grateful to have gone this far and challenged for the title with his young squad that was assembled last season.

After winning the DDC in the 2021-22 season Stellenbosch promoted the bulk of the squad and the Diski Challenge coaches had to assemble a new squad.

The new players have done exceptionally well, and they are now on the verge of joining Golden Arrows by becoming the two teams to have lifted the Diski Challenge title twice.