Jele promises Pirates will fight to the death

Downs-Bucs a clash laced with high quality

Sihle Ndebele Journalist
Happy Jele.
Happy Jele.
Image: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

Orlando Pirates are arguably the only local outfit who come closer to Mamelodi Sundowns, in terms of squad depth and the overall quality in the playing personnel.

As these two heavyweights clash in an epic Nedbank Cup quarterfinal at Loftus Versfeld Stadium tomorrow (6pm), fireworks are anticipated. The winner of this Ke Yona fixture will host Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila on Sunday.

Yesterday, during a virtual media conference to preview this showdown, Pirates skipper Happy Jele agreed both the Buccaneers and the Brazilians boast satisfactory quality in their respective squads. Jele vowed, that though they respect Downs, they’ll fight as they’re also giants of SA football.

“Both teams have good qualities. We’re playing against a good team; they’ve been doing well in the Champions League and in the domestic league,’’ noted the soft-spoken Jele.

“We respect them but on match day we will fight. As Pirates, we are also big. We will fight as Pirates and get the result. It’s not going to be easy for Sundowns because we’ll go all out.”

The Tshwane giants, who’re also the Ke Yona cup’s defending champions, have already outshone the Soweto giants this season after claiming a 1-0 win in the league in January. Even so, Jele has insisted revenge isn’t in their minds.

“For us it’s not about revenge. We are focusing on ourselves as a team. We want to go through to the next round, that's all,’’ said the 34-year-old Bucs captain.

Having been at Pirates for almost 13 years now, Jele also opened about the role he plays in terms of showing the fledging players the ropes. Jele has amassed over 330 appearances in Bucs shirt.

“I have to motivate the youngsters to work hard all the time. I have to always preach to the younger players that they need to be winners because Pirates have massive responsibility to win trophies,’’ Jele stated.

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