Malepe: South Africa U23 captain joins Ukrainian club FC Minaj after Orlando Pirates exit

Tercious Malepe, South Africa, June 2019
The versatile player was surprisingly released by Bucs despite his successful loan spell at the Chilli Boys

FC Minaj have announced the signing of former Orlando Pirates defender Tercious Malepe.

The South Africa under-23 international has been a free agent after being released by the Buccaneers at the end of the 2019/20 season.

Minaj, who are campaigning in the Ukrainian Premier League, have snapped up Malepe according to a statement which was released on the club's official website on Friday. 

"Tercious Repo Malepe became the new player of Mina," a club statement read. 

"This is a football player from South Africa. He signed a contract with our club and has already started training with the team.

"Repo Malepe is a 23-year-old footballer who belonged to the Orlando Pirates, the current bronze medalist of the South African Championship.

"We are waiting for his debut in the UPL and wish him success in our club! Good luck, Malepe."

Malepe, who can also play in midfield, spent the last two seasons with Chippa United on loan from Pirates and he was one of the regulars at the Eastern Cape-based side. 

The tough-tackling player played 45 matches in the Premier Soccer League (PSL) and netted once during his time with the Chilli Boys.

Prior to his move to Chippa, Malepe was on the books of the now-defunct Ajax Cape Town where he was also on loan from Pirates during the 2017/18 season.

The former South Africa under-20 captain made 18 appearances in the PSL and scored once, but he could not help the team avoid relegation to the National First Division (NFD).

Malepe, who was nurtured in the Pirates academy, was loaned out to Moroka Swallows during the 2015/16 campaign which saw him play 22 matches in the league. 

The promising player was part of the South Africa squad at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

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Malepe was included in the Bafana Bafana squads which took part in the 2017 and 2019 Cosafa Cup tournaments.

Furthermore, Malepe captained South Africa at the Caf Under-20 Africa Cup of the Nations finals and Fifa Under-20 World Cup finals in 2017.

He led his country at last year's Caf Under-23 Afcon finals where South Africa finished third and qualified for the 2021 Olympic Games in Tokyo Japan.