Orlando Pirates defender Happy Jele is relishing the competition for his position following the arrival of new signing Itumeleng Tlali from Mbombela United. He spoke to GoalThe 27-year-old Bucsvice-captain has been the club's first choice right-back for the past six years.
When speaking exclusively to Goal the former Bafana Bafana defender said of Tlali's arrival, "I've always had an understudy. Whoever comes in as a new signing has to work really hard though," Jele told Goal.
"Itu(Tlali) will get his chance, and it's up to him whether he takes the opportunity or not. Competition is good for the team" he said.
Jele himself was Lucky Lekgwathi's understudy at right-back for a couple of years after joining Bucs in 2005 from Walter Stars.
"There are a lot of things that he needs to work on and prove himself. So, he needs to work really hard in order to stand a chance of putting me on the bench," he continued.
The lanky full-back played 42 matches in all competitions last season, and netted two Absa Premiership goals in the process.
'Majents' will now battle with 23-year-old defender Tlali who impressed Bucs scouts during the 2014 Nedbank Cup campaign.
"I'm not scared of competition. This season I'm training differently compared to the previous seasons, and I'm improving my game," he added.
"I'm really not surprised that Itu is from my home province, Mpumalanga. We are producing good defenders," he said.
"(Lucas)Thwala and (Rooi) Mahamutsa are both from the same province, and not forgetting (Tsepo) Masilela at Kaizer Chiefs," he concluded.