Stellenbosch Football Club

Rayners happy to be back in Bafana Bafana squad

Football 2024 Nedbank Cup Stellenbosch Fc Press Conference Lentelus Sports Complex

Iqraam Rayners has revealed his pleasure after being recalled to the Bafana Bafana squad for this month’s FIFA series friendlies against Andorra and Algeria.

Earlier this week, Rayners was named among the 23 players selected to be in Hugo Broos’ 23-man squad for the pilot edition of the FIFA Series friendlies against Andorra and hosts Algeria later this month.

The call-up sees the 28-year-old return to the international fold for the first time since July last year when he featured five times and scored once at the 2023 COSAFA Cup tournament.

“It’s always a good opportunity to get to play for the national team,” Rayners said.

Read | Rayners cracks Bafana Bafana nod for FIFA Series friendly internationals

“I’m happy to be back there now, so I’ve just got to keep on focusing and doing my best, firstly for my team, and then turn that focus to the national team.”

Rayners’ spot in the South Africa squad was also celebrated back home by Stellenbosch FC head coach Steve Barker who claimed it was long overdue following the striker’s impressive form at domestic level.

“This is Iqraam’s happy place in Stellenbosch and we find a way to play to his strengths,” Barker added.

“I believe people underestimate his goalscoring record and his knack for scoring goals, his awareness in and around the box, and his decision-making.

Read | Stellies trio named in South Africa U-20 squad for SAFA camp

“When he gets chances, he inevitably converts, so it’s important for us that we have him in the right positions to use his ability to get in behind the defence and into the box.

“He has shown for us, since his NFD days and now in the PSL, that he scores almost every other game, which is a massive return.

“I’m very pleased for him because I think he showed consistency since 2023 with the number of goals he scored, so I think it’s a long overdue call-up.”

Elsewhere, Tyler Cicero, Tylon Smith, and Langelihle Phili, will also represent the country later this month after being called up to the South Africa U-20 squad for a training camp in Johannesburg.