Orlando Pirates legend Edward Motale says veteran defender Happy Jele has a lot more football in him despite his recent struggles.
Jele, now 34, struggled for game time under previous Buccaneers coach Josef Zinnbauer who preferred to use Thulani Hlatshwayo.
But since Zinnbauer’s departure ahead of the current season, Jele has been used more frequently by co-coaches Mandla Ncikazi and Fadlu Davids.
Despite being written off by fans at one stage, Motale told the media that Jele is far from finished and believes he is capable of playing a lot more for the Soweto giants.
“I think Happy Jele is not going anywhere, he is not done. It’s just that when you reach over 30 in South African football, we think players are done,” Motale said.
“Jele still has a lot to offer, giving him one year contact every season? I’m not sure how the club operates, because they have their rules, but I’m not sure about these one-year contracts.”
Motale, now 55, also blamed social media for painting the wrong picture of Jele and his future.
“He has done so well, even though sometimes as fans we destroy our players by criticising them for having one or two bad games. Social media has done lot of damage and I always tell them to refrain from social media.
“Stay away from that place, I warned them to forget about social media. Happy has always been open to talk to me, he always called for advice from the young age of 17. I know him well and he is very good player and I blessed him with Magents name,” added Motale.
Happy Jele should next be in action for Orlando Pirates when they host Sekhukhune United in the DStv Premiership on Tuesday, 2 November.
Kick-off at the Orlando Stadium is scheduled for 17:30.