Happy Jele cautious on African return for Orlando Pirates

Happy Jele cautious on African return for Orlando Pirates
Happy Jele of Orlando Pirates wins header against Ahmed Gamal Amr of Bidvest Wits during the 2017/18 Absa Premiership football match between Bidvest Wits and Orlando Pirates at Bidvest Stadium, Johannesburg on 23 September 2017 ©Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

by Graeme Jackson

Tuesday Mar 13, 2018. 11:30

Orlando Pirates captain Happy Jele has talked down his team’s prospects of returning to CAF club competition next season.

The Soweto side are well placed to qualify for either the Champions League or Confederation Cup in 2019.

Their last appearance in both competitions saw them reach the final: in 2013 they lost out to Al Ahly in the Champions League, while two years later they were beaten in the Confed Cup final by Etoile du Sahel.

Yet Jele believes Pirates must focus on the here and now, arguing that they haven’t achieved anything yet this season.

“For that, we’ll think about it when we win something, then we’ll talk about the desire for the team to go back to Africa,” explained Jele.

“For now we are looking forward to building up the guys coming into the team so they will be in a good structure for the team, and so that we can compete for something next year.

“Right now we are still in the building process, and we’re looking to the upcoming games and we’ll see what we can do [in them].”

The veteran defender added, “We can’t predict the future, do you know what’s going to happen tomorrow? You don’t know.

“If you’re going to get a million [rand], do you know that? You don’t know... What if something happens now?

“That’s why we’re thinking about the game on Wednesday, we’re focussing on it, and then we’re done.”

Pirates will next be in action tomorrow evening when they face Cape Town City in the last 16 of the Nedbank Cup.

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