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Football DStv Premiership Richards Bay FC Stellenbosch FC

Barns Faces Loyalty Test in Season Finale

  • May 25, 2024
  • 2 min read
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Barns Faces Loyalty Test in Season Finale

Richards Bay attacker Sanele Barns will face a loyalty dilemma in his final game for the KwaZulu-Natal club on Saturday (15:00).

The Bay will host Stellenbosch FC at King Zwelithini Stadium in a crucial season finale, needing a win to secure their top-flight status, provided if Royal AM lose to Moroka Swallows at Dobsonville Stadium on Saturday.

Vusi Vilakazi’s side requires all three points to avoid relegation. Their hopes hinge on the in-form Barns, who has been their standout player this season. The former University of Pretoria attacker, who was the member of TS Galaxy’s 2018/19 Nedbank Cup victory against Kaizer Chiefs, has notched five goals in 26 league appearances and earned a PSL Midfielder of the Season nomination.

Barns finds himself in a tricky situation. While Richards Bay fights for survival, he’s set to join Stellenbosch next season. The Stellies are chasing a second-place finish and a coveted CAF Champions League spot.

The question remains: how will Barns approach this match? Will he give his all to secure a win for Richards Bay, hoping Royal AM lose to Moroka Swallows?

Meanwhile, Stellenbosch, who won their maiden Carling Knockout Cup triumph in December, are determined to hold onto second place. A win or draw would suffice, provided Orlando Pirates drop points against SuperSport United.

Barns’ dedication has impressed coach Vusi Vilakazi. Despite his impending departure, Barns delivered a match-winning goal against Orlando Pirates at Orlando Stadium this month, a historic first for the KwaZulu-Natal club. Vilakazi lauded Barns’ professionalism, highlighting his commitment even after the team’s loss to Cape Town City last weekend. If Barns plays on Saturday, his last game with Bay, it will be his 58th match having scored nine goals.

Despite the challenge, Vilakazi remains optimistic. “We’ve faced strong teams like Pirates and won,” he said. “Anything is possible. We’ll fight till the end, especially playing at home.”

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Robin-Duke Madlala

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