Barker, Rayners, Mbule claim monthly individual trophies for the last month of DSTV Premiership action in 2023

Iqraam Rayners has been named the dstv Premiership Player of the Month November/December 2023, the third time he has won the award in his career after triumph in March and April 2023.

Steve Barker, the Stellenbosch FC coach made it a clean sweep for the Cape Winelands-based club as he took the DStv Premiership Coach of the Month award for November/December. Barker last won the award just two years ago, in May 2022.

The awards cap off a remarkable period for Stellies which saw Barker guiding his side to five wins in six outings, including a stunning come from behind 3-2 victory over Orlando Pirates in Soweto, which the judges described as a tactical masterpiece. He also oversaw his side’s wins over Richards Bay, AmaZulu FC, neighbours Cape Town Spurs and Cape Town City as well as Pirates, that saw Stellies accumulate 15 out of 16 points, scoring 10 goals and conceding just four times during this period.

During this impressive run, Rayners scored four goals for Stellies in the November/December period, leading his side from the front, as Stellies moved up to 4th position on the log standings.

Rayners and Barker won the awards unanimously ahead of players such as Evidence Makgopa (Orlando Pirates), Luyolo Slatsha (Cape Town City) and coaches Eric Tinkler (Cape Town City) and Jose Riveiro (Orlando Pirates), while Cavin Johnson (Kaizer Chiefs) received special mention from the judging panel made up of football journalists, broadcasters, and commentators.

This is the first time in the history of the awards that Stellenbosch FC have won both the player and coach awards in the same month.

Mamelodi Sundowns midfielder Sipho Mbule became the second player from the Brazilians to win a monthly individual award this season as he clinched the DStv Premiership Goal of the Month award, following his stunning long range in his side’s 3-0 over Cape Town Spurs at Loftus in December. Teammate Lucas Ribeiro Costa and Ronaldo Claudio Maarman of Chippa United also received mentions from the judges for their brilliant freekick strikes.

For their recognition, all the winning coaches and players will each receive a trophy and R7, 000 courtesy of league sponsors, DStv.

Judges for November/December: Mark Gleeson (SuperSport), Senzo Sokhela (Ilanga), Mthokozis

i Dube (Far Post), Reggie Ndlovu (SuperSport), Vuyo Macoba (Newzroom Afrika), Ayanda Nyuswa (Gagasi FM)