Happy Jele spent 16 years at Orlando Pirates and his departure forms part of the club’s plans to rebuild itself into a giant of South African and African football under new coach Jose Riveiro.
Durban – Orlando Pirates have confirmed the release of Happy Jele.
The 35-year-old spent 16 years on the books of the Sea Robbers, winning two league titles.
“Our central defender and Club Captain, who has reached the end of his contract will be leaving the club. This marks the end of Happy Jele’s momentous career with us,” stated Pirates on their website.
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Jele’s departure forms part of the club’s plans to rebuild itself into a giant of South African and African football under new coach Jose Riveiro. The club has released several players this off season as it looks to improve its performances going forward.
Pirates indicated in the statement that they were open to retaining Jele’s services in a non-playing capacity; however, they added that the veteran still wants to continue playing professionally.
“Jele met with the Chairman of the Club at the end of the 2021/22 season to discuss his future. During these deliberations, which spanned a three-week period, the Club at the end of the 2021/22 season to discuss his future. During these deliberations, which spanned a three-week period, the Club discussed various options available to the long-term serving defender in a non-playing capacity.
“A follow up meeting was held two weeks later where Happy expressed his intentions to continue playing football beyond the 2021/22 season, an option that is unfortunately not available,” added the statement.
Though past his prime, Jele is still capable of playing at the highest level. He made 18 appearances in the league for the Sea Robbers last season and could be a valuable addition to a club looking to add experience to their ranks ahead of the new season.