Orlando Pirates news: Happy Jele’s absence explained

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Happy Jele will be heading into his fifteenth year at Orlando Pirates in 2021 and his recipe for consistency has been revealed.

The 33-year-old defender joined Orlando Pirates in 2006 and has since made over 350 appearances for the club. Jele also tasted his fair share of success with the Buccaneers having won the league twice, the MTN8 thrice, the Nedbank Cup twice and the Telkom Knockout on one occasion.

Jele’s most recent triumph, in the form of the 2020 MTN8, came after a five year barren run however the experienced Orlando Pirates defender was not part of the trophy celebrations.

Jele ‘Happy’ to put Orlando Pirates first

“One of Jele’s secrets to staying with Pirates for more than a decade is always putting the team first.” – Happy Jele’s agent Jazzman Mahlakgane told Isolezwe.

“Yes, he would have been happy to lift the MTN8 [trophy], but there was nothing he could do, he was not there on the day of the game. The coach Josef Zinnbauer revealed that he was ill.

“We don’t know how this season will end, maybe there is another trophy that Orlando Pirates will win and Jele will get a chance.”

Why Happy Jele did not lift MTN8 title

“I’m no doctor. I have contact with him but I don’t ask him what’s happened. He said to me, he’s sick. He was in a training session before and he came and said, ‘Coach, I’m not feeling good.” Orlando Pirates head coach Josef Zinnbauer said regarding Happy Jele ahead of the MTN8 final.

“So, I said, ‘Go to the doctor’, and the doctor said he has to go home, and then the next day he was sick. I don’t know, I don’t have 100 percent of the information but I think it’s normal flu that he has.”

Orlando Pirates will not turn their attention to DStv Premiership and CAF Confederations Cup following their MTN8 triumph.

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