Jele Reveals What Hurt Him The Most During His Pirates Captain Days

Happy Jele during his time at Orlando Pirates. 
(Photo by Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images)
Happy Jele during his time at Orlando Pirates. (Photo by Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images)

Former Orlando Pirates captain Happy Jele has revealed what he regrets the most from his time at the club after 16 years of service. 

Jele left Pirates at the end of last season after his contract was not renewed and he is currently unattached after he expressed a desire to continue playing. 

The 35-year old, who captained the Soweto giants for a series of seasons after the departure of the likes of former skipper Lucky Lekgwathi, says he regrets not lifting a continental trophy during his stay at the club. 

Read: Jele Values 16 Years At Pirates More Than Failed Overseas Move

The Sea Robbers reached three continental finals in 2013, 2015 and this year in May but lost all of them. In 2013, the Buccaneers lost the CAF Champions League title to Egyptian giants Al Ahly after a 3-1 loss on aggregate in the final. 

Two years later, the Soweto giants lost the CAF Confederation Cup final 2-1 on aggregate to Tunisian side Etoile du Sahel. 

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And this year in May, Pirates lost the CAF Confederation Cup final that was played in one deciding match against Moroccan side RSB Berkane on penalties after a 1-1 draw in extra-time. 

"I think I wanted to win the CAF Champions League or a (CAF) Confed because we've been challenging for those trophies and I've never won it," Jele said in an interview on Marawa Sports Worldwide

"And all the time we're runners-up, we just go through to the last minute but we don't get it. I wanted to at least get that trophy, to make myself happy and the team happy. 

"If you remember the last time they won that trophy it was '95, so we wanted to break that, at least give something to them (fans)," he said. 

Read: 'Pirates Needed Someone Like Him'

The one-club man went on to stress that he and the teammates he led desperately wanted to put another star on the Buccaneers' badge, whose one and only triumph in the CAF Champions League was back in 1995. 

"Because if you look at my profile, all my trophies are there, all the domestic trophies I have, so I wanted those (by) CAF, so that at least I put on my profile. The Champions League comes with a star you know," he went on.

"I think the team that we had (in) 2013 we deserved to have that star, even in 2015, the team that we had and now the last season we had creams. We've worked so hard but at the end of the day we lost in the final," he regretted. 

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