Happy Jele set to celebrate 10 years at Orlando Pirates
Posted: 16 August 2016 Time: 16:42
Orlando Pirates defender Happy Jele is set to reach a major career milestone of having played for the club's first team for an impressive 10 years.
Jele has elevated himself to the rare achievement of being the only footballer still playing in the PSL to clock a decade playing top flight domestic football for the same club.
After making his PSL debut as a teenager in Pirates’ first league match of the 2006/07 season on September 20, 2006, against Maritzburg United in a game won 1-0 by the Team of Choice.
Since then Jele has only ever played for Pirates, winning two league titles, two MTN8 cup, two Nedbank Cups and the Telkom Knockout, while being capped twice at Bafana Bafana level.
Affected by injuries in recent years, the 29-year-old has remained as committed as ever when called up for duty at right-back or in central defence for the Buccaneers.
The Mhluzi-born defender now has a solid 10 years behind his back since Pirates first registered him with the PSL. Proving that he has been a regular through most of his time at the club, he has started 238 games since making his Bucs debut.
Now captain at the club, Jele will be seeking legendary status in the same way the likes of Paolo Maldini did at AC Milan, Francesco Totti at AC Roma, Ryan Giggs at Manchester United and Matthew Le Tissier – who are all one-club men.
Jele is also the only player still at Pirates from the squad that featured in his debut season, with Paulus Masehe the only other player still attached to a PSL club at the moment, with most having disappeared from top-flight football.