Orlando Pirates Stellenbosch Iqraam Rayners

Iqraam Rayners with a number of Stellebosch FC awards. Image: @stellenboschfc/X

Could Chiefs or Pirates secure signature of top striker?

It’s no surprise that a top striker from this past season has been linked with both Pirates and Chiefs. But will a move materialise?

Orlando Pirates Stellenbosch Iqraam Rayners

Iqraam Rayners with a number of Stellebosch FC awards. Image: @stellenboschfc/X

Just last week, Iqraam Rayners was named Footballer of the Year at the Stellenbosch FC end of year awards ceremony. The 28-year-old has enjoyed a stunning season, scoring 16 goals and providing eight assists in 38 games in all competitions.

In the league, he finished with 15 league goals, one shy of Orlando Pirates star and imminent golden boot winner Tshegofatso Mabasa. Rayners has also been nominated in four categories at the PSL awards 

All considered, it’s no surprise that the standout star from this past season has – at the very least – caught the eye of Pirates and Chiefs.

According to The Citizen, Pirates are leading the race in pursuit of Rayners, who could add much-needed additional firepower to the team’s forward resources.

It’s understandable that the Buccaneers will be highly motivated to make this move a reality considering that veteran striker Kermit Erasmus is expected to depart the club. 

Pirates legend Andries Sebola has also thrown his support behind the idea of Pirates pushing to sign Rayners.

“I still believe that Pirates need to go outside the county because most of the quality players are at Sundowns. So, looking at Rayners, if they can convince Stellies to bring him on board, it will be good,” Sebola told FARPost.

“Even though we know some coastal players, when they come to Gauteng, they struggle. He came to SuperSport United and he didn’t do well, then he went back to Stellenbosch and did well.”

Chiefs and Pirates not the only ones interested in Rayners

According to Soccer Laduma, league-winning giants Mamelodi Sundowns have also cast an eye at the striker, along with Kaizer Chiefs.

As the transfer market begins to heat up post season, it will now be interesting to see if Stellenbosch can retain their leading player from the past season.

“When you start getting yourself into position, where you’re competing at the back end of tournaments and the high end of the log table, you know as a player you’ve got to be really thinking clearly of where your career wants to go,” Stellies coach Steve Barker told Soccer Laduma.

“So I’m trusting that this group of players that we have, we can retain and keep because I believe if we can, then we can continue to be competitive both locally as well as abroad.”

All in all, this is a story worth keeping a close eye on, with Pirates perhaps best placed as it stands to throw all their resources behind this player pursuit.

All the Stellenbosch award winners in full:

Footballer of the Year: Iqraam Rayners
Players’ Player of the Season: Devin Titus
Sportsman of the Season: Sihle Nduli
Young Player of the Season: Jayden Adams
RAMA Fans Player of the Season: Iqraam Rayners
Golden Boot: Iqraam Rayners
CEO award: Ruan Rust
Reserve team Footballer of the Year: Kyle Bailey
Reserve team Sportsman of the Season: Simthandile Sishi
Reserve team Golden Boot: Mervin Boji
Achievement award: Deano van Rooyen (150 SFC appearances)
Achievement award: Jayden Adams (100 SFC appearances)