Bucs captain not bothered by lack of game time

Maela likely to start against Djbala in CAF second leg

Neville Khoza Journalist
Innocent Maela (captain) of Orlando Pirates is not bothered by his lack of game time this season, insisting he trusts the decisions of the technical team.
Innocent Maela (captain) of Orlando Pirates is not bothered by his lack of game time this season, insisting he trusts the decisions of the technical team.
Image: Gallo Images/Sydney Seshibedi

Orlando Pirates skipper Innocent Maela is not bothered by his lack of game time this season, insisting he trusts the decisions of the technical team.

Bucs coach Jose Riveiro has been using either Paseka Mako or Deon Hotto on the left-back, leaving Maela coming in as a sub.

Having made just three appearances in all competitions and starting once against Djabal in the CAF Champions League first preliminary round first leg last week, Maela, 31, said they supported each other whether playing or not.

“To be honest, we are a squad of quality players. The most important thing for us is to support each other whether you are starting matches or you watch from the bench,” Maela told the media yesterday during the club press conference.

“We have a long season ahead and the most important thing is to trust and respect the decision that has been made.

“Whether there is pressure for me to start or be replaced in the team, no one is guaranteed a starting place.

“You have to work hard each and every day to earn your stripes, but at the end of the day, you need to trust the process and the decisions and support the team.

“Put other players before you and if you do that in the long run, things always work out. The team comes first. It has always been like that for me, ever since my first day at the club. You put the team first and things work out at the end.”

Maela is likely to start again when the Buccaneers host Djbala in the return leg at Orlando Stadium tonight (7.30pm).

Pirates head into the match with a 1-0 advantage after their victory in the first leg.

“We are excited and looking forward to the match. Very interesting competition and we want to do well,” he said.


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