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Pirates coach Riveiro says Maela is ‘full package’ as the Spaniard promises to entertain Bucs fans and Mzansi

Orlando Pirates coach Jose Riveiro and captain Innocent Maela during the 2022/2023 DStv Premiership season launch at SuperSport Studios in Johannesburg.
Orlando Pirates coach Jose Riveiro and captain Innocent Maela during the 2022/2023 DStv Premiership season launch at SuperSport Studios in Johannesburg.
Image: LEFTY SHIVAMBU/ GALLO IMAGES

Orlando Pirates' new coach Jose Riveiro has described the club’s newly-appointed skipper Innocent Maela as a “full package” player and says he deserves the captaincy.

Maela was recently confirmed as the new skipper for Pirates after the departure of fellow defender and former captain Happy Jele from the club.

Riveiro was very involved in the selection of Maela, 29, who joined the Buccaneers youth structures as a teenager in 2008 before moving on to play for Witbank Spurs and Thanda Royal Zulu.

Maela returned to Pirates in 2017 and has been an integral part of the club.

“The new captain is a full package,” Riveiro said.

“The club management was involved in selecting him as the captain, as was the technical team and the players.

“We were all on the same page in this decision and we all agreed that Innocent and Richard (Ofori) are excellent options for us.”

Ghanaian goalkeeper Ofori has been appointed vice-captain.

Spaniard Riveiro has promised to bring back happy days for the Sea Robbers while making sure the team dishes entertaining football on the pitch as he said that is a big part of his coaching philosophy.

“We are trying to entertain people. That’s the main part of our job, that’s what we do, entertaining people and trying to invite the people to come to the stadium and enjoy the game with us,” Riveiro said.

“Our target is to play good football and to do that we have to be proactive. We have to try to play attractive football that is full of chances. Sometimes it's possible and sometimes it’s not, but that's what we have to try to do.”

Though Pirates won the MTN8 during the 2020/2021 season, they haven’t enjoyed a lot of success since they last won the league title in 2012.

Since then they have managed just two trophies, the Nedbank Cup in 2014 and the MTN8 in 2020.

Riveiro believes he has a good enough squad to achieve what he wishes to with Pirates, who will kickoff their DStv Premiership campaign against Swallows FC at Orlando Stadium on Saturday, August 6 (3pm).


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