Davids praises Jele after 400th appearance

Premiership

Orlando Pirates co-coach Fadlu Davids paid tribute to captain Happy Jele for reaching 400 appearances for the club after their 1-0 win over Swallows FC.

Jele celebrated the milestone on Saturday and came away with the man-of-the-match award to cap it all off after Tshegofatso Mabasa's 78th-minute winner off the bench secured the Buccaneers' first win of the season.

"First of all, happy birthday to my captain Happy Jele," Davids told SuperSport TV.

"What a top professional. You need role models like these in your squad. I had a chat with him saying it's 400. Next season with the amount of games we play he could get to 500. But congratulations to him, very well deserved.

"In terms of the match I think a really good first half, how we started to close the spaces. They're so well structured in terms of their build up, how they play. They have a set pattern so it's quite easy to eliminate the spaces and then also when we had the ball in terms of their high press in terms of how we want to build up and find our spaces, it was really well executed by the team. Finding spaces but not turning that into shots on goal.

The Bucs co-coach was also happy that the substitutions paid dividends as Mabasa and Terrence Dzvukamanja impressed after coming on for Deon Hotto and Kabelo Dlamini.

"Really pleased with the game in its entirety," he said. "Dlamini, Hotto did really well in terms of what we wanted to do in executing our plan. With Hotto there's always runs in behind the defensive lines giving you spaces for the number tens.

"Mabasa a different kind of striker with Dzvukamanja playing just in behind him as a ten. It gave Swallows a different problem to think about. Not only worry about space in behind. He is a striker who can hold up the ball.

"I'm really pleased for Mabasa. A long injury hit season last season. One foot fractured, the other foot fractured. Coming back the way he did. Really happy for him."

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