To find a solution to their defensive woes, Royal AM have turned to 36 six year old former Orlando Pirates captain, Happy Jele.
Jele last played competitive football in the 2021/22 season, where he appeared 18 times for Amabhakaniya.
“We are excited to have you around [Jele]. Welcome on board.” The club wrote on their social media.
Also Read: What Does Makhaula Bring To Orlando Pirates?
Will Happy bring happiness for Thwihli Thwahla?
Jele hasn’t played much football lately, having been released by Orlando Pirates early this season.
Expecting him to hit the ground running at Royal AM might be a bit unfair. He still needs to adapt and get his match fitness back, which might take some time.
On top of regaining his match fitness, Jele still has to build tactical relationships with his fellow defenders, another process that doesn’t take a day.
Considering the above factors, Happy Jele might not be able to bring immediate happy moments for Royal AM.
This means he will not be of much help to them in the current campaign, despite his wealth of experience.
What can Royal AM expect from Jele in the near future?
A fit Happy Jele has the potential of taking charge of Royal AM’s central defense.
The prospect of a center back pairing with the equally experienced and talented Ricardo Nascimento is mouth watering.
Jele being a right footed centre back, and Nascimento being a rare breed of left-footed center backs, means Royal AM will have a well balanced center back pairing.
Jele also brings leadership skills into the team, having captained Orlando Pirates. Thwihli Thwahla can use his leadership qualities and experience to build their team on a strong spine.
Will his age be a negative factor?
At 36, one might say Happy Jele is over the line, but his discipline and living a clean life, puts Happy Jele in a good position to contribute positively to his new club.
On top of his experience and leadership qualities has, Jele has a good football brain on his head.
What he may lack in terms of physical aspects of football, like speed for an example, he can make it up through his football intelligence, by using good positioning to his advantage.
Is he a good acquisition? Yes, but for next season and beyond.