DURBAN – Orlando Pirates captain Happy Jele is set to stay with the Buccaneers. Jele’s contract with the Sea Robbers will expire at the end of month.
The diminutive centre-back is currently the longest serving player at the club, having joined in 2006.
He has been through many trials and tribulations at the club.
Pirates chairman Irvin Khoza has indicated that they are set to keep him at the club.
“Jele is still a Pirates player. We haven’t said anything about him. What he has achieved with the team is highly admirable. You can see that he is doing his best. He still has a role to play, unless he feels that his legs are tired,” Khoza elaborated.
There’s been a mass exodus at Pirates as they try to assemble a strong team that will challenge for titles in the new season.
Pirates have sent the likes of Thabo Qalinge, Ayanda Nkosi, Abbubaker Mobara, Jackson Mabokgwane, Diamond Thopola, Phetso Maphanga, Gladwin Shitolo and Meschack Maphangule packing.
The Buccaneers have bolstered their squad with the services of Siphesihle Ndlovu, Fortune Makaringe and Tshegofatso Mabaso. The likes of Bongani Sam, Kabelo Dlamini and Pule Ekstein have also been linked with the Sea Robbers.
They are hungry to end their five year run without a trophy. Last season they came close, finishing second on the log.
“The boy has acquitted himself well as the captain and as a player which is quite humbling. He came here when he was very young. He is now the captain of Pirates and it is a good story on his side,” he added.
The 32-year-old has been pivotal for the Buccaneers at the heart of defence. He only missed one league outing, 29 out of 30 league games. The captain also made four appearances in the Telkom Knockout.
“Unfortunately, he got injured towards the end of the season. He lost a bit of time. But he is trying to make up for that, I don’t know but maybe.” Khoza concluded.
Jele has seen it all with Pirates. He was very instrumental in that team that captured the double-treble.
Jele also captained Pirates to the Nedbank Cup triumph back in 2014 which is the last trophy that the Buccaneers lifted.@Mnenhlecr7