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Former Orlando Pirates captain Happy Jele brings wealth of experience to Royal AM

Independent Online (IOL) logo Independent Online (IOL) 2023/02/03 Smiso Msomi

Durban - Royal AM Football Club announced the signing of former Orlando Pirates defender Happy Jele on Friday morning.

Jele, who is a well-known figure in the South African footballing scene, has put pen to paper at the Pietermaritzburg-based club after spending months on the sidelines following his exit from the Buccaneers.

The 36-year-old versatile defender is expected to bring a wealth of experience to the team.

The signing of Jele comes at an uncertain time for Thwihli Thwahla, who recently announced the return of coach John Maduka following the collapse of their initial co-coaching set-up from the beginning of the campaign.

The arrival of Jele, could signal renewed hope as the club looks to solidify their defensive line and give them a platform to push for potential CAF qualification in the current campaign.

Jele, who has spent his entire career in the colours of the black and white of the Sea Robbers has close to 400 appearances in the top flight and has one of the most impressive trophy cabinets in the league.

During his 17 year stay at Pirates, Jele was able to claim two league titles, three MTN8 medals, and a Telkom knockout crown.

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He has represented South Africa at both under-20 and senior level and his knowledge of the difficulties of manoeuvring continental difficulties will come in handy for Coach Maduka in the near future.

Jele will have to beat off or work alongside the likes of Ricardo Nascimento, Mbhazima Rikhotso, and captain Samuel Manganyi for a spot in the starting eleven while also reuniting with Thabo Matlaba.


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