Richards Bay coach Vusumuzi Vilakazi has lauded Sanele Barns for his professionalism since committing his future to Stellenbosch.

The 27-year-old winger joined the Natal Rich Boys from the University of Pretoria in 2022.

He quickly became an integral player for the club and has gone on to play 56 games for the DStv Premiership side, scoring nine goals and creating 10.

He is the club’s leading goalscorer this season with five goals.

But in a surprise move, Barns secured a transfer to Stellies ahead of the new season, with the likes of Kaizer Chiefs and Cape Town City also interested in the player’s services.

Barns was on target at the weekend in a 1-0 victory over Orlando Pirates to keep their survival hopes alive, and the club interestingly finish their season with games against the Citizens and Stellies.

Reflecting on Barns’ attitude since completing his move, Vilakazi said in the Sowetan: “He’s a very professional somebody. 

“I am happy with his commitment. Usually when players are about to leave, they drag their feet but Barns is always fighting for the team.”

The Bay coach added: “I had a chat with him today and asked him if he’d allow us to take the money back to Stellenbosch and he stays, and said ‘please just do that’; so that’s the commitment that he has for the club.”