Jele’s momentous career at Pirates comes to an end

Orlando Pirates defender and captain Happy Jele has parted ways with the club after 16 years of service, the club announced on Monday.

In a statement, the club said Jele would not be a part of the squad for the 2022/23 season after his contract came to an end. It is reported that the parties came to a decision to go separate ways after a meeting between Jele and Pirates chairman Irvin Khoza.

Bucs said in a statement: “This marks the end of Happy Jele’s momentous career with us. Orlando Pirates Football Club can confirm that Happy Jele met with the chairman of the club at the end of the 2021/22 season to discuss his future.

“Ordinarily, players are released at the end of the players’ contracts but in Happy’s case, as he has a special place in the club, having served the club so professionally over the past 16 years, the chairman had specifically asked the player for his input.”

The 35-year-old skipper joined Bucs at 19. In the past 16 years, he won eight trophies, made 400 appearances for Pirates, and scored 18 goals.

“Today, he leaves a place he has called home for the past 16 years as a legend, captain, husband and father. Happy is a special character who has answered every call the club has made of him throughout the years, which is why he has a future at the club beyond his playing days.”

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