Why Jele should remain Orlando Pirates captain despite Hlatshwayo signing - Manenzhe

Phumudzo Manenzhe, ex-Orlando Pirates striker, September 2020
The former Wits marksman named two players, who should be assisting the 33-year-old skipper

Former Orlando Pirates striker Phumudzo Manenzhe says defender Happy Jele should remain the captain of the club.

The Soweto giants recently beefed up their squad with the signing of former Bidvest Wits captain Thulani Hlatswayo.

Hlatshwayo, who is also Bafana Bafana captain, led Wits to the Premier Soccer League (PSL) title, Telkom Knockout Cup and MTN8 triumphs as team captain.

Some have suggested that defender Hlatshwayo should be appointed new Pirates captain as the Buccaneers look to end their six-year trophy drought in the new 2020/21 season.

However, Manenzhe insists Jele should continue to lead the team as he understands the culture of the club having joined Bucs in 2006 as an 18-year-old. 

“The captain of Orlando Pirates is Happy Jele, he has been at the club for many years. He knows the culture of the team very well," Manenzhe told The Citizen

"He came into the team as a young 18-year old. I was still there and I remember him taking me through the paces at the club. 

“He has been a fantastic captain, unfortunately, he is yet to lift a trophy in the past five years. But … the captain is not only the person who wears the armband."

Manenzhe believes veteran goalkeeper Wayne Sandilands and experienced midfielder Ben Motshwari can assist in guiding the squad.

"You need Wayne Sandilands to command his area and also assist Jele in terms of leadership qualities and spreading the message," he continued. 

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"You need a Ben Motshwari now because he is established now at Pirates. He is the first name that goes onto the team sheet when you talk about midfielders or defensive midfielders.

"You need him to up his game and communicate more and also read the game and help Jele in leading that Pirates team.”

Jele recently had his contract extended with one more season by Pirates and he is the longest-serving player in the current squad.