Tshepo Ntsoelengoe
Football Writer
2 minute read
19 Mar 2021
12:05 pm

Orlando Pirates captain Happy Jele to set Soweto derby record

Tshepo Ntsoelengoe

“It is very special for me as a player to set a record (most appearances in the derby), but the most important thing is that I have to thank God for keeping me going until now," said Jele.

Orlando Pirates defender Happy Jele will set a new Soweto derby record if he plays on Sunday. (Photo by Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images)

Following their emphatic victory over Enyimba in the Caf Confederation Cup midweek, Orlando Pirates skipper Happy Jele says the focus is now on Kaizer Chiefs, whom they are facing in a DStv Premiership tie at the FNB Stadium on Sunday.

ALSO READ: Mpontshane to start for Pirates in Soweto Derby against Chiefs?

Jele and company have been enjoying quite a good run of form, which saw them take their unbeaten run tally to 10 games after edging the Nigerians 2-1 at the Orlando Stadium.

Going into the Chiefs clash, Pirates will be keen to get maximum points with the race for the league title still open. Pirates are in third place with 35 points with a mere four points separating them with log leaders Mamelodi Sundowns, who have only played 17 games while Bucs have played 20.

“The mood is good, we got some points yesterday (Wednesday) and now we have to change our mindsets and focus on the league. We are going to prepare ourselves and see what we will do on Sunday,” said the Bucs skipper, who will be playing in his 32nd derby should he feature for Bucs on Sunday – overtaking former Chiefs winger Siphiwe Tshabalala, who played 31 derbies.

“It is very special for me as a player to set a record (most appearances in the derby), but the most important thing is that I have to thank God for keeping me going until now. Because without him I will never be here, so I would like to say that it is very special for me.”

Jele also touched on his center back partner Thulani Hlatswayo’s performances for the club, particularly in the last game. The Bafana Bafana captain had a difficult game with some sloppy mistakes.

“As defenders and team we still have to analyse the game and try to see where we went wrong. It’s not about him only, but the whole team. We are here as a team, so we are not going to point fingers at someone who didn’t do well. We have to analyse the whole team. It’s all about the team, not one player. But what I know is that Thulani is a good player and he has helped us in a lot of things and he is a leader.”

Going into this game, Bucs have already beaten Amakhosi four times this season, and the Glamour Boys have been struggling in the league with the club sitting in 11th spot on the log with 20 points from 18 games.

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