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Orlando Pirates captain Maela backed to succeed in 'team of leaders' - Brother Masilela

1:52 am AEDT 20/10/22
Innocent Maela of Orlando Pirates FC.
Tsepo Masilela has backed his younger brother Innocent Maela to succeed as captain of Orlando Pirates.
  • Maela was appointed at the beginning of the season
  • Masilela tips defender to lead Bucs to success
  • Maela told to remain humble and work hard

WHAT HAPPENED? Maela was appointed Bucs’ skipper before the season began when Happy Jele and Ntsikelelo Nyauza left.

The Soweto giants have been blowing hot and cold this season, but having former captains at their disposal, Masilela believes his younger sibling will eventually lead the cub to lift a trophy.

WHAT HAS MASILELA SAID? He has done the job before and the ending was a happy one when he lifted the trophy, so why not get another run," Masilela made reference to Maela winning the first division with Thanda Royal Zulu in 2017.

"If you look at that team, it is filled with guys that have been captains.

"Miguel [Timm] was captain, [Tapelo] Xoki was captain, [Nkosinathi] Sibisi was captain, so it is filled with leaders, so I don’t think it is going to be a problem.

"[Richard] Ofori was captain at Maritzburg United and he is the vice-captain now. It is a team with a lot of leaders, and it just happened that he is the one wearing the armband.

"For him, it is to remain humble and keep on working hard while being disciplined. At the end of the day, without hard work, you don’t achieve much in football.

"I think it is good that he is injury free and can play week in and week out and build his confidence and performance.

"Last season I felt he had an injury at some point, which kept him out for two months, but I think he has done well. I would be happy to see him lift a trophy one day."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Just like a number of players under Jose Riveriro’s new management, Maela has had to deal with a change in playing style as he steers the club in his first season as captain.

He previously played as a full-back under previous coaches, but with Riveiro, Maela has been largely deployed in a back three, which demands that he play more at the centre of the defence as Deon Hotto mostly fills the left-back position.

WHAT NEXT FOR MAELA AND PIRATES? Although their Premier Soccer League campaign has not been impressive thus far, the Sea Robbers have a realistic chance of lifting the MTN8 Cup.

However, it is not going to be an easy task for them since they will play Mamelodi Sundowns in the second leg of the semi-finals on October 22.