Orlando Pirates legend Jele explains transfer difficulties and why he refused Bucs coaching offer

Happy Jele, Orlando Pirates, September 2021Backpagepix
  • Jele rues bad timing of Pirates exit
  • Insists he still has a lot to offer as a player
  • Working on his match fitness at new club

WHAT HAPPENED: The Pirates legend recently signed a contract with Royal AM after months out in the cold.

The 36-year-old had shown the desire to continue playing, but Bucs felt age was catching up with him, and coach Jose Riveiro opted to let him leave.

Jele has now explained why it took him long to get a new team and why he did not take an off-pitch job offer from the Sea Robbers.

WHAT HE SAID: "I would say it was difficult for each and every team that wanted my services because I remember I left Orlando Pirates when the league was [about] to start," Jele told Far Post.

"Obviously, everyone had his own team by that time. So, it was difficult for me, but I thank Royal AM for coming on board in my life.

AND WHAT IS MORE: Despite his advancing age, Jele felt he had more to offer on the pitch.

"Yeah, that’s why I’m here. There is still desire," Jele, who made more than 400 appearances for the Buccaneers, continued.

Happy Jele, Orlando Pirates, May 2022Backpagepix

"Even my former team wanted to give me an offer, but I told myself that I still needed more years because I could see my body could still contribute a lot.

"Obviously, Royal AM came on board, and I’m here. I want to contribute to the team."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Jele has not yet made his debut for Royal AM, and coach John Maduka stated it is because the veteran centre-back lacks match fitness.

Jele returned to the Chatsworth Stadium, where he made his debut in September 2006 at 19 years of age for Bucs against Maritzburg United under coach Milutin Sredojevic.

WHAT NEXT: Jele will hope to make his Thwihli Thwahla debut soon as they are ninth on the Premier Soccer League table.

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