Cape Town - Orlando Pirates defender Happy Jele believes the Buccaneers' poor Premiership campaign was due to their long run to the Confederation Cup final.
Pirates struggle in the first half of the season, languishing down near the relegation zone as they concurrently made it all the way to the final of the continental competition.
After the conclusion of the Confederation Cup, the Bucs domestic form recovered, with the Sea Robbers eventually finishing seventh in the league and also making the final of the Nedbank Cup.
"If you look at the first round we didn't do very well because we were also playing in the Confederation Cup," he told Soccer Laduma. "And we had injuries but then things changed after January."
Jele is convinced the squad is good enough to challenge for the title again next season.
"We have been doing very well and we will continue from there next season," he added. "We will have a great season ahead of us and every player in the team is looking forward to that. We need to win trophies for the team next season."