Steve Barker has backed his squad to step up in the absence of in-form striker Iqraam Rayners, who will miss this evening’s DStv Premiership encounter against SuperSport United.
Rayners has been in imperious goalscoring form for Stellenbosch since re-joining the club from SuperSport United in February and boasts a return of 15 goals in just 11 appearances across all competitions this season since his return.
That tally includes six goals across the previous three matches but his impressive run of form will not continue into Tuesday’s encounter in Pretoria as the 27-year-old is one of the players who miss out on making the heavily-rotated matchday squad.
Head coach Steve Barker remains optimistic despite the absence of his biggest attacking weapon, and believes that the club’s other options can step up and be counted against Matsatsantsa.
“I think it provides an opportunity for others to get a chance, and with the Nedbank Cup semi-final nearby it’s probably not the worst thing that he gets a bit of rest and recovery because he will be available to play again on Sunday,” Barker said.
You can hear all of coach Steve Barker’s pre-match thoughts in the video below:
Rayners most recently scored twice in the weekend’s 5-2 win over Golden Arrows with those strikes taking his overall tally for the club to a record-extending 51 goals across all competitions across two spells.
That tally includes Rayners’ 50th and 51st goals for the club which he scored in the weekend’s 5-2 league win over Golden Arrows but the 27-year-old will play no part in Tuesday’s encounter against his former side.
“When someone gets past 50 goals – he’s got 51 in 92 matches for Stellenbosch – scoring just over a goal every two games, it is massive for a club,” Barker added.
“He played a big part in our promotion season, in our first year in the PSL, and now he’s returned and been in remarkable form. He’s probably one of the main reasons why we’ve made such a good turnaround, and hopefully, that form can continue until the end of the season.”
The Stellenbosch FC XI to face SuperSport United:
Reid Bombay (GK), Kyle Jurgens, Vusi Sibiya, Lasse Sobiech, Qobolwakhe Sibande, Jayden Adams (C), Nhlanhla Mgaga, Sihle Nduli, Juan Carlos Ortiz, Antonio van Wyk, Sinethemba Mngomezulu.