Maela credits Pirates unity
Posted: 17 October 2017 Time: 13:45
Orlando Pirates defender Innocent Maela has attributed his fine form in the black and white jersey to the warm reception he received at a pre-season camp in Rustenburg in August.
Maela returned to Pirates after captaining Thanda Royal Zulu to National First Division honours last term when on loan at the now-defunct outfit.
The left-back, whose half brother is Kaizer Chiefs star Tsepo Masilela, was named man of the match on his Bucs debut in a 1-0 win over Chippa United in the first game of the campaign.
Maela has featured in every fixture under new Sea Robbers coach Milutin 'Micho' Sredojevic and has credited his teammates for helping him settle at Mayfair.
"What helped me the most was the pre-season camp we had, the hospitality I got from the team was amazing," says Maela.
"It helped me a lot to settle well going to the games as I already had confidence from the players, and that made things easier for me."
Maela says he can't speak for why Pirates failed to finish inside the top eight for the first time in PSL history in 2016/17, but pointed out team spirit is high under Micho.
"I was not there last season so I don't know what they were not doing last season that we are doing this season. But what I know this season is we have become more of a team. We are strong together, we are brothers, we are family, we work for each other."
The Buccaneers are fourth on the Premiership table with 12 points from seven games, and next host bottom-placed Platinum Stars at FNB Stadium on Wednesday (19h30).