Barker banks on Rayners in relegation dogfight

Barker banks on Rayners in relegation dogfight

Stellenbosch FC coach Steve Barker will rely on striker Iqraam Rayners in what will be a tough relegation dogfight in the DStv Premiership.

Rayners rejoined his old club from SuperSport United where he was being overlooked by coach Gavin Hunt, but has made an instant impact since returning on transfer deadline day last month.

The 27-year-old forward has scored three goals in two matches.

"I think he can score whenever he plays if he's given enough opportunities. He's now got two goals in three games and an assist, so in our last five goals he's been involved in four. So, it's nice to have Iqraam I think we play to his strengths," Barker said.

Rayners got his name on the score sheet in his second debut for Stellies when they beat Chippa United 2-1 in the league a week ago.

He was again instrumental in the 3-0 demolition of Swallows FC in the Nedbank Cup round of 32 at Athlone Stadium on Saturday, scoring twice.

"I think he just adds that quality in front of goal. The second goal, I haven't looked at it but I think it was a really calm quality finish. Even the second goal that he scored was also with good power in the corner," he added.

Barker couldn’t hold on to Rayners in July 2020 when the forward moved to SuperSport on a free transfer, but now that they’ve been reunited the coach feels the spell with Matsatsantsa has immensely improved his game. 

"He shows he's got that capability and it hasn't left him. I think he's improved in other areas of his game; he's become a bit more mature. A bit more ability to hold the ball up. As a person, he's matured. He came back different, bubbly, talking, leading, giving advice on the field so I think the move for him there was good. I think we are going to benefit hugely from it," Barker concluded.