Tshepo Ntsoelengoe
Football Journalist
1 minute read
27 Jul 2022
11:17 am

Pirates announce new captain following Jele’s departure

Tshepo Ntsoelengoe

Maela was named club captain, while Ofori will assume the vice captain role.

Orlando Pirates left-back Innocent Maela succeeds Happy Jele as the new captain of the club. (Picture: Gerhard Duraan/BackpagePix)

Innocent Maela and Richard Ofori have taken leadership roles at Orlando Pirates ahead of the 2022/23 DStv Premiership season.

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Maela was named club captain, while Ofori will assume the vice captain role.

“Orlando Pirates Football Club can confirm the appointment of a new Captain and Vice-Captain ahead of the start of the 2022/23 season,” wrote the club on their website on Wednesday.

“Long serving defender Innocent Maela will take up the captaincy role following the departure of Happy Jele, with goalkeeper Richard Ofori taking up the role of vice-captain. A captain is a leader of men, a player who embodies the core values of the club. He inspires those around him and leads in an exemplary manner – on and off the field.”

“Maela not only personifies these values, but he lives them. Throughout his football journey which spans over a ten-year period, the 29-year-old has been consistent; and never allowing a situation (good or bad) change his approach.”

Maela rejoined the Buccaneers in 2017 after leaving the club as a youngster. The Bafana Bafana defender went on to play for Witbank Spurs and Thanda Royal Zulu, before returning to the Pirates’ ship.

“Maela has come full circle. Starting as a youngster in the Clubs’ Academy ranks in 2012, Inno – as he is affectionately known, went on a five-year long journey away from the club where he went on to cut his teeth, first at Witbank Spurs and then Thanda Royal Zulu,” the statement continued.

“In 2017 – where he was captain, the left back led the KZN outfit to promotion to the Premiership. The following season, Maela was recalled to the club where he has since become a regular feature in the club.”