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Maela: We have a good chance to win trophies

Orlando Pirates defender Innocent Maela

Innocent Maela says a more mature Orlando Pirates have a better chance of winning trophies this season.

The versatile defender has been with Bucs since 2017, all the while growing with the team, and in recent years under current head coach Josef Zinnbauer.

While they haven't ended outside the top three in the past four seasons, and last season claimed a trophy in the MTN8 Cup, Bucs haven't won the league since 2012.

Speaking ahead of the annual pre-season opener, the Carling Black Label Cup, against rivals Orlando Pirates on Sunday, Maela says he will play where ever is needed, having been voted in the left-back slot by fans for this weekend.

Maela said in the Sowetan: "I think the squad is growing together. We are more experienced now and that's what you need if you're going to win many trophies in one season. I think we have a good chance this season."

He added: "Playing many positions means a lot to me because the game evolves every day, so as a player if you don't grow eventually you'll be left behind. So for me personally, playing various positions has helped me grow, I have to become a better defender, I have to be more stronger in my duels.

"With a lot of coaching, quality coaching that we get here at Pirates, playing different positions hasn't been difficult for me. The team will always get everything they want from me in terms of contributing. I am prepared to play at any position the team wants me to play."