Stellenbosch Coach Steve Barker during the Stellenbosch FC media open day at Markotter Sports Fields on October 17 2019 in Stellenbosch. Picture: SHAUN ROY/ GALLO IMAGES
Stellenbosch Coach Steve Barker during the Stellenbosch FC media open day at Markotter Sports Fields on October 17 2019 in Stellenbosch. Picture: SHAUN ROY/ GALLO IMAGES

Cape Town — Stellenbosch FC coach Steve Barker says star striker Iqraam Rayners has committed to helping the club retain their Premiership status despite signing a precontract with SuperSport United for next season.

Rayners‚ 24‚ is the lead forward at the Winelands club and will be a crucial figure if Barker’s side are to beat relegation this campaign.

He netted 19 league goals in helping the side to promotion from the GladAfrica Championship in the previous campaign‚ and though he only has five this season he is a key part of the Stellenbosch side.

His pace up front and ability to provide assists for others will be missed when he leaves‚ but Barker says they could not stand in his way — or release him early to Matsatsantsa.

“He has signed a precontract with SuperSport‚ but he has committed to us until the end of the season‚” Barker confirmed.

“We are a club that are happy if we can create opportunities for players to improve their lives and go on to bigger things.

“We are happy for him‚ he has shown great character in promising us that he is here to stay [until the end of the season] and help us achieve what we want to achieve.

“I said to him he can leave Stellenbosch and leave a legacy after helping us get promoted‚ be the club’s top goalscorer and help us retain our status. So he can leave with a big heart.”

Rayners provided the assist for Waseem Isaacs’s winning goal on Friday night as Stellenbosch claimed a vital 1-0 victory over fellow strugglers Baroka FC. It moves them up to 11th and four points clear of the drop-zone.

“I was proud of the players to come out and grind a massive win for us‚” Barker said. “People must understand the context‚ it is back-to-back wins that get us to 21 points‚ four points clear of Baroka and one step closer to where we want to be.”

Stellenbosch are next in action at home to another struggling side‚ Polokwane City‚ where victory would be another giant step towards survival.

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