Orlando Pirates: Happy Jele extends stay at the Buccaneers

Orlando Pirates captain Happy Jele has extended his stay at the Soweto giants for another year.

The 33-year-old is the longest-serving player in the current squad, having been with the Buccaneers since he was still a teenager.

Happy Jele extends Orlando Pirates stay

Over 300 matches later in the famous black and white, he is looking to add to that figure, as he is set for another season at the club.

“This is a place I called home since I joined as a 19-year old,” Jele is quoted by the club website. “The matter of the contract has never been an issue for me because this is home. I have a very good relationship with the Chairman, the door is always open for me. If ever I have issues, I can always go to him.”

Happy Jele

Longevity

Jele debuted for Orlando Pirates in a league defeat to Maritzburg United in September 2006, just months after his 19th birthday.

Operating from the right side of the defence, it would take him over four years to score his first professional goal, when he equalised in injury time against AmaZulu in February 2011.

Jele has since found the net a further 13 times for Pirates, including two in the past season – both coming from high-scoring encounters in the form of the three-all draw against Cape Town City and a Nedbank Cup clash against Bidvest Wits, which ended in an identical scoreline before it was decided via penalties.

Having donned the armband for the best part of his latter seasons at the club, Jele was only second to veteran goalkeeper Wayne Sandilands in terms of minutes played in the past campaign.

The defender has won eight titles during his career at Orlando Pirates, including three league championships.

He is expected to skipper the side once more when the league returns in October.

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