Soccer Betting News - SA's Leading Soccer Betting Newspaper: Jele: I'm not ready to call it quits

Jele: I'm not ready to call it quits

Happy Jele says while he appreciated the chance to remain at Orlando Pirates, he couldn't accept the club's offer of a non-playing role.

Pirates announced on Monday that the club's most-capped player ever and long-time captain was leaving the Soweto giants after 16 years of service.

Pirates had been holding discussions with Jele over the past three weeks regarding his future and the decision was made to part ways with the club legend.

The 35-year-old made 401 appearances for the Buccaneers since joining the club in 2006 as a 19-year-old. Pirates offered him a non-playing role but he has declared his intentions to not yet hang up his boots.

In a heartfelt message to the club, Jele wrote on social media: "Firstly, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Chairman of Orlando Pirates FC, Dr Irvin Khoza, for bringing me to this massive team when I was just a teenager starting out in my football career 16 years ago.

"I am proud to have represented the Ghost with dedication, loyalty, and humility, and I hope I didn't disappoint. To Bucs staff, all the different technical staff I have worked under for the past 16 years, Club management, supporters, and my management company Professionalz from which my career is managed, I would like to sincerely thank all of you for being part of my journey and guiding me in my football life.

"When the chairman invited me to his office to offer me a non-playing position, I was humbled but at the same time shocked as I personally wasn't ready to take off the badge as yet. Yes, I was offered an opportunity in non-playing staff, and I gracefully expressed my desire to play for another season or two before I hung up my boots. I, therefore, wish to inform my fans and the ghost supporters that I won't be lost in the black and white family but will take a year or two break away from the club to possibly pursue my interest of playing before I call it quits or even making my way back to the Ghost, but time will tell.

"The opportunity afforded to me by the club Chairman Dr Khoza will be highly considered during my time away from the club I only played for in my professional football career. No one can predict the future, but hopefully, I will be back to The Club one day in a different capacity.

"I wish Orlando Pirates FC, fans, supporters, management, and the members of the 2022/23 squad all the best in their future endeavours. Once and always a buccaneer."