Pirates Explains Why Maela Is Perfect To Lead After Jele’s Exit

Orlando Pirates Football Club yesterday confirmed the appointment of a new Captain and Vice-Captain ahead of the start of the 2022/23 season. Long serving defender Innocent Maela will take up the Captaincy role following the departure of Happy Jele, with Goalkeeper Richard Ofori taking up the role of Vice-Captain.

“A captain is a leader of men, a player who embodies the core values of the club. He inspires those around him and leads in an exemplary manner – on and off the field,” the club described someone who leads the team.

“Maela not only personifies these values, but he lives them. Throughout his football journey which spans over a ten-year period, the 29-year-old has been consistent; and never allowing a situation (good or bad) change his approach.

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“Maela has come full circle. Starting as a youngster in the Clubs’ Academy ranks in 2012, Inno – as he is affectionately known, went on a five-year long journey away from the club where he went on to cut his teeth, first at Witbank Spurs and then Thanda Royal Zulu.

“In 2017 – where he was captain, the left back led the KZN outfit to promotion to the Premiership. The following season, Maela was recalled to the club where he has since become a regular feature in the Club.”


Former Kaizer Chiefs and Pirates coach Muhsin Ertugral says the Sowetan giants aren’t going to be able to overcome Downs’ dominance. Here’s why.

“One of the things we undermine in football is continuity. Mamelodi Sundowns have had continuity for five years now after winning the league in succession,” Ertugral told IOL.

“The teams that are following them (Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Cape Town City and Roy AM) are buying eight, nine or 10 players, and even more.

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“And it doesn’t work like that. It will never work. It is like fine-tuning an orchestra. Everyone can play unplugged. But you won’t listen to that. You’ll listen to an orchestra in fine-tuning. And this is years, and years, of being together.

“From the most successful teams in the world, you’ll see there’s only two or three transfers that are made and not more. And then, there’s longevity of continuity and processing of the squad. So, again, I don’t think that Sundowns will be challenged in this season.”

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