Barker brings change

LEGENDARY former Bafana Bafana coach Clive “The Dog” Barker is looking to improve the fortunes of the Clever Boys this season as their new head coach.

Barker officially replaced Anthony Lopez as head coach of Bidvest Wits in January 2013.

Lopez’ contract was terminated at the end of last season by a “mutual agreement”. During his 5 month tenure Lopez guided the team to four wins, seven draws and five losses, with his last match in a 1-1 draw with Free State Stars in December 2012.

With two wins after three matches, Barker has led Wits to climb two positions on the Premiership log from 9th place to 7th place. The second win was over Chippa United on Wednesday night at the Bidvest Stadium on east campus.

Goals by Matthew Pattison and Ryan Chapman secured a 2-1 the victory in a game that saw the opposition team make it to the scoreboard first.

Barker guided Bafana Bafana to their only African Nations Cup title in 1996, eventually leaving Bafana Bafana after a string of losses.

After a three year absence from coaching, the 68-year-old is happy to have returned to PSL after his last coaching job at with Amazulu.

Speaking to IOL.com Barker said: “This is a club with great infrastructure and lots of quality players. It’s the first time I have taken a coaching position in Joburg. I’m here to try and improve the team.”

Wits goalkeeper Steven Hoffman told Wits Vuvuzela that Barker is a good coach because he instills positivity in the players.

“His aim is to win the league and he just makes sure he gives us that motivation. He lets the players play their own game but still finds a way to make us come together so we can play like a team,” Hoffman said.

The Clever Boys next match will be against top-ranked Kaizer Chiefs on March 2 at FNB Stadium.