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HomeDStv PremiershipBarker Non-Committal On Rayners, Adams Transfer Talk

Barker Non-Committal On Rayners, Adams Transfer Talk

Stellenbosch FC head coach Steve Barker says it won’t be easy for clubs to sign Iqraam Rayners and Jayden Adams.

Rayners was linked with a move to Saudi Pro League side Abha Club in the January transfer window, while Mamelodi Sundowns have opened talks over Jayden Adams.

While the latter appears to be a deal that is a case of when rather than if, Barker remained firm that their stance and pedigree as a club has evolved over the past few seasons.

They lost Rayners to SuperSport United after a Golden Boot-winning season in the second-tier, while Ashley du Preez, Zitha Kwinika, and Sibongiseni Mthethwa were signed by Kaizer Chiefs, and Junior Mendieta by Sundowns since their arrival in the top-flight.

But having qualified for the CAF Confederation Cup by finishing third in the DStv Premiership and clinching the Carling Knockout title, Barker feels they are in a better position to offer their Bafana Bafana players a platform to excel.

“Look, I think football is football, it happens all around the world where players come in and go, but I believe as a football club it’s a different situation now than it maybe was a year or two ago,” Barker said when asked by iDiski Times about the Bafana duo.

“Our competitiveness [improved] we won a trophy and qualified for Africa [Confederation Cup]. So players want to be at clubs that are successful, so you know I believe we’ve got into that space where we’re in Africa and one or two of the other club are not playing there.

“So I think in terms of that [factors] it does make it more difficult for clubs [to sign Rayners and Adams], their value increases, having achieved what they have, being selected for Bafana squads.”

Jayden Adams and Iqraam Rayners of Stellenbosch FC celebrate victory after the 2023 Nedbank Cup quarterfinal game between Stellenbosch FC and Mamelodi Sundowns at Athlone Stadium in Cape Town on 15 April 2023 © Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

He continued: “From a market value, I don’t think it will be easy for clubs to just come in for them, but as I say, I don’t want to predict and say it won’t happen, but we want to keep our squad, we want to keep our players we have.

“We want to add more depth, more quality to the squad so that we can remain being competitive and I don’t think you can be competitive over a long period of time if you don’t have that ability to retain the core of your strong players. But as I said – we will see what happens.”

Stellenbosch are set for their first foray into Africa in the 2024/25 season, which was part of their five-year plan when winning promotion in 2019.

Lorenz Kohler
Lorenz Kohler
Lorenz Köhler is an award-winning South African football journalist. Having cut his teeth in the industry working at Kick-Off Magazine, he is now iDiski Times' senior digital content writer. He specialises in breaking top African football stories and transfers with a major focus on the 'big-three' Mamelodi Sundowns, Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates and CAF inter-club and international competitions. In 2021 he was listed amongst the top-five journalists under 30 in Print Media for the AIPS Awards.