Stellenbosch Football Club

Barker celebrates Stellies trio’s Bafana Bafana call-up

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Steve Barker has celebrated the inclusion of Jayden Adams, Fawaaz Basadien, and Iqraam Rayners in South Africa’s preliminary squad for the 2024 CAF Africa Cup of Nations.

Bafana Bafana head coach Hugo Broos on Thursday named his provisional squad for next year’s Africa Cup of Nations in Ivory Coast, with Jayden Adams, Fawaaz Basadien, and Iqraam Rayners named as the three Stellenbosch FC players chosen in the extended selection ahead of the competition.

The trios’ preliminary inclusion follows a string of impressive performances from them in the domestic competitions this season and comes on the eve of Stellenbosch’s highly-anticipated Carling Knockout final encounter against TS Galaxy.

“It’s nice for us to have three players named in the preliminary squad in the form of Fawaaz, Iqraam, and Jayden,” Stellies coach Steve Barker said during a pre-match press conference.

“Knowing all three players, they are consistently good performers, and being in that squad is an opportunity for them to make the AFCON squad, which I’m sure is every player’s dream.

“I do believe that they will go out, put their best foot forward, and deliver the best performance that they can [against TS Galaxy] and hopefully that will be enough for them to make the final squad.

Read | Barker: Reaching the Carling Knockout Final is a special day for Stellenbosch

“There are one or two other players who I believe might have deserved to have been included who may be disappointed, but I keep telling the players that you can only keep doing your best and performing every game.

“By doing that they will get recognition, and slowly we are getting that recognition and I am pleased for those who have been selected. Hopefully, we can get some into the final squad.”

Adams was part of the most recent Bafana Bafana squad, albeit as an unused substitute in the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Rwanda and Benin, Rayners previously represented his country at the 2023 COSAFA Cup competition, while Basadien has been called up for the first time.

“…For me, Fawaaz Basadien has deserved an opportunity for many months now. He has real quality in terms of his technique, the way he manipulates the ball, and he is just a quality player,” Barker added.

“Iqraam Rayners scores goals. You need players who score goals, whether they’re starting or coming on in matches, and he fully deserves his opportunity, as does Jayden Adams. Jayden has shown remarkable consistency as a young player with the quality that he has, and all of their inclusions are exciting for us…”