Absa Premiership

Maela: Pirates can win the league

Innocent Maela (Gallo Images)
Innocent Maela (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Orlando Pirates left-back Innocent Maela has claimed that his side stands a good chance of ending their long wait for an Absa Premiership title, dating back to 2011/12.

TKO draw: Chiefs face Leopards, Bucs host Chippa

Since the Buccaneers last won the league, under the guidance of Augusto Palacios, they have endured some tough times, most notably in 2016/17, when they finished 11th on the table.

However, since Milutin Sredojevic took charge in August 2017, the Buccaneers have enjoyed a resurgence.

After finishing second to Mamelodi Sundowns last season, thus qualifying for the CAF Champions League, they sit behind only Wits in this season's Premiership standings.

"If I look at the team that we have, I believe that we stand a good chance of winning silverware soon," Maela was quoted as saying by IOL website.

"Winning the league will make me happy. Yes, I believe it is possible. It is more than possible."

This is somewhat of a departure from the public stance which coach 'Micho' and his players took while Pirates were challenging for the title last season.

As the 2017/18 title race heated up, the Buccaneers repeatedly attempted to play down expectations via the media.

After six years without a league title, the current crop of Pirates players may not be as accustomed to fighting for silverware as those before them.

However, Bafana Bafana star Maela is hoping that Ezikamagebhula will grow because of competing across Africa.

“The experience of being in the national set-up will come in handy when we are going to Africa,” he said.

“It will be good for us as players to be exposed to those kinds of games. It will help us as players to grow.”

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