Stellies boss explains Skelem situation

Premiership

Stellenbosch head coach Steve Barker has addressed why Leletu Skelem has been reduced to a bench role amid interest from Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns.

Skelem, 22, has been a revelation for the Cape-Winelands outfit since helping them win promotion to the top-flight in the 2018/19 season.

With four goals and five assists in 39 appearances in the DStv Premiership, the tireless winger has attracted interest from the big-three while he confirmed to this website that he would be open to joining Chiefs if an offer arrived.

But Barker says his long-term future and interest from domestic rivals has no relation to being named on the bench in the last eight consecutive league outings.

"There is no problem with Leletu, we've got a bit of momentum, some good wins and some good performances," he said.

"The front three of Ashley Du Preez, Junior Mendieta and Stanley Dingba have done really well. So Leletu has to just continue working and he will get his opportunities again."

Phathutshedzo Nange is another player that is reported to be heading to Chiefs in the off-season when his short-term contract expires with Stellies and Barker admits the interest in their star players won't rock their progression as a club.

Scroll through the gallery below to see Chiefs' transfer wishlist 

"I think it's about weighing up and balancing where you are as a club, where the player is in his career, we are ambitious ourselves as a club, we also want to have success," he explained.

"A part of our strategy going forward is to be a successful PSL team and you can't achieve that if you continue to lose your best players. So it's not a question of if we're a selling club but we just don't hold on to players, we definitely will [sell some players]. 

"It's all about balancing economics and the success of the club going forward but it's a good position and a healthy position to know that our players are doing as well as they are and attracting interest. It shows the players are working hard and we as a club are doing the right things.

"If they are destined for other things then we're a club that, I won't say encourage, but everything will happen at the right time."

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