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Red-hot Stellenbosch striker going nowhere as premiership suitors circle him

Iqraam Rayners of Stellenbosch FC beats goalkeeper Brandon Petersen of Ajax Cape Town to score a brace during the National First Division match between Stellenbosch FC and Ajax Cape Town at Idas Valley Sports Ground on January 20, 2019 in Stellenbosch, South Africa.
Iqraam Rayners of Stellenbosch FC beats goalkeeper Brandon Petersen of Ajax Cape Town to score a brace during the National First Division match between Stellenbosch FC and Ajax Cape Town at Idas Valley Sports Ground on January 20, 2019 in Stellenbosch, South Africa.
Image: Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images

Iqraam Rayners may be one of the hottest properties around after scoring 19 goals to help Stellenbosch win promotion to the top-flight a few days ago but his club says he is going nowhere.

Rayners is on the radar of several top-flight clubs after his eye-catching performances but coach Steve Barker says the 23-year-old will be staying put as the Winelands club head to the Absa premiership next season.

“We will hold onto him and he wants to be here.

"He’s committed to the club‚ this is where he is happy.

“You know some players like to move a lot but I think he is happy where he is‚” said Barker.

“Credit to the man‚ he’s probably the top goal scorer in South Africa over the last two seasons.”

Rayners scored 11 goals for Stellenbosch last season in the National First Division and his tally of 19 for this campaign was just three shy of the league’s record.

“That’s fantastic for a player who wasn’t a striker.

"His pace and technique has been quality for us.”

Barker signed Rayners from Santos‚ where he had been right back.

Rayners spent three seasons at Santos in the NFD in defence but the Stellenbosch coach was quick to spot his ability in front of goals.

Rayners is also the club’s set-piece specialist at corners‚ freekicks and penalties.

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