Absa Premiership

Give Jele a three-year contract extension, says Mjempu

Happy Jele (Gallo Images)
Happy Jele (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Former Orlando Pirates left-back Lizo Mjempu believes captain Happy Jele deserves a three-year contract extension.

Mjempu, who played with Jele in 2011/12 for Pirates, takes the view that age isn't a factor as the 32-year-old is still physically capable of producing top performances.

The right back has been converted into a central defender by coach Milutin Sredojevic in 2018/19, where he has enjoyed some measure of success for the Sea Robbers.

Currently, Bucs lead the Premiership standings where they enjoy a six-point advantage over Mamelodi Sundowns in second spot.

Nonetheless, the player's deal concludes at the end of the season and Mjempu think he deserves another three seasons with the Soweto giants.

He told Soccer Laduma: "Happy is an easy-going kind of a person and he is also a great leader on the field. He is still a good listener despite his achievements and experience. He is a down to earth kind of a guy and is always willing to lend a helping hand when he has to. Happy is a great human being.

"As an ex-professional player and former teammate of Happy, if I were to get a chance to speak to the chairman about him (Jele), I would ask him to keep him playing.

"I would tell the chairman that that's how I feel. I would ask the chairman to offer Happy a new three-year contract. Age is just a number and the guy is still going strong.

"As someone who sees him every now and again, he still looks good and strong. It's just that here in South Africa there is this problem of judging players based on their age.

"I experienced that also and it affected me as I was forced into retirement. Once a player reaches the age of 30, people think that he is finished."

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