Stellies players to cost more as rivals show interest

Stellies players to cost more as rivals show interest

Stellenbosch FC coach Steve Barker is adamant their DStv Premiership rivals will not find it as easy to poach their best players.

With the side from the Winelands favourites to finish runners-up and having already won a trophy this season, Barker believes the price has gone up for any potential suitor.

He said Stellies also want to avoid dismantling a squad that will make their maiden appearance in CAF competitions later this year.

"I get asked this question over and over and I never have definitive answers because I don't know what the future holds but the better you become as a football club, winning cups and being second players making Bafana, their value from there goes to here,” Barker said.

“So, if clubs are going to want to come and look for our players, I don't think it's going to be as easy as it was in the past. Number one because from an economic and financial point of view, if you've got players sitting on the bench for Sundowns that were costing R40million, what reason is it that Jayden Adams is not worth that, maybe more."

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Club CEO Rob Benadie confirmed to SABC Sport a few weeks ago that champions Mamelodi Sundowns had asked about midfielder Jayden Adams.

Barker, however, has advised the Bafana Bafana international to go in a different direction. 

"If Sundowns do then they have to dig deep, that's the one thing. The second thing is Jayden's got ambitions to play in Europe, I think he's at the age where going to Europe would be better in his interest, I would advise him to rather consider that than local. You don't want him going to Sundowns and ending up playing 13/14 league matches in a season," the coach added.

Stellies were a lot more open to selling prior to the 2023/24 campaign, having allowed Zitha Kwinika, Olwethu Makhanya, Junior Mendieta and Ashley Du Preez to leave when lucrative offers came their way.

The club could be taking a new approach this time around according to Barker.

"So, it's gonna be more difficult for teams because stock of the players is a lot higher. They are far more valuable and they are playing in Africa. We weren't playing in Africa before, we weren't maybe challenging enough to win trophies. Now you've won a trophy, you are playing in Africa. So, it's more difficult for them to just be, 'Hey we want this one, we want that one'."