Absa Premiership

Jele ready to contribute for Bucs

2016-09-07 19:35
Happy Jele (Supplied)

Cape Town - Orlando Pirates stalwart Happy Jele says he is up to the task and can play any position in the team as long as his contribution will make an impact in their success.

The 29-year-old right-back, who is in his 11th season with the Buccaneers, spent most of last term on the bench due to injuries and only made only 12 starts and four substitute appearances in all competitions as a result.

With newly-signed right-back Thembela Sikhakhane having been given the nod in the starting line-up for Bucs' opening two matches of the campaign, Jele featured at centre-back alongside Ayanda Gcaba in the 3-1 win over Golden Arrows on the opening day.

"In the team of Pirates' calibre, competition is the order of the day and one has to be on their toes all the time," the defender told Vodacom Soccer.

"When coach Muhsin [Ertugral] gave me a centre-back role alongside Ayanda [Gcaba] in our PSL's opening game against Arrows, I never complained in being switched from my usual right-back position to centre-back, because I'm a seasoned campaigner and am up to the task.

"I'm ready to play at any given position in the team, as long as my contribution will make an impact in the team's success."

Having had a good game in central defence alongside Gcaba against Arrows, Jele's absence in the first team came as a blow in their MTN 8 quarter-final 2-1 loss to Bidvest Wits.

"It wasn't for the first time for me playing at centre-back, which is why I didn't struggle in that position [against Arrows]," added Jele, who has returned to training after recovering from the hamstring strain which kept him out of the clash with the Clever Boys.

"You will remember that I played in some of the few games of last season at centre-back, with the last season's final League match against Supersport United [in 2-all draw] playing alongside Rooi [Mahamutsa].

"So, I'm up for the task and prepared to make an impact in my new centre-back role, as long as Thembela [Sikhakhane] is doing well at right-back position."


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