Cricket Rugby Soccer Sport news so fresh, its live!

June 20, 2024
Football DStv Premiership Mamelodi Sundowns Nedbank Cup Orlando Pirates

Maela Praises Bucs’ Fitness Guru Gueldish For Team’s Resilience

  • June 2, 2024
  • 2 min read
Maela Praises Bucs’ Fitness Guru Gueldish For Team’s Resilience

Orlando Pirates captain Innocent Maela lauded the impact of fitness coach Helmi Gueldish, crediting him for inspiring the team’s unwavering spirit throughout demanding matches, including the Nedbank Cup final triumph against Mamelodi Sundowns on Saturday.

Appointed during the off-season, Gueldish brought a wealth of experience to the Pirates’ technical team. Previously the strength and conditioning (S&C) coach for Tanzanian champions Yanga FC, Gueldish boasts an impressive background as a seasoned professional, former athlete, and holder of a Ph.D. in exercise science.

Pirates initially announced Gueldish’s collaboration with Michel Bellver, aiming to form a formidable partnership. However, Bellver departed due to personal reasons early in the season.

“He’s incredibly important to us,” Maela explained. “A highly qualified, humble, and smart guy. He’s pushed us incredibly hard, and it shows in our matches. Even when conceding a goal, we can fight back, find that extra gear, and emerge victorious. While I acknowledge Mr. Michell’s contributions, Helmi’s role is undeniable. Hopefully, he’ll stay with us for a long time.”

Maela assumed the captaincy following Happy Jele’s departure at the end of 2021/22 season, coinciding with the arrival of manager Jose Riveiro. Since then, Maela has led the Buccaneers to an impressive four domestic trophies in two seasons, culminating in the dramatic Nedbank Cup victory against Sundowns.

Orlando Pirates captain Innocent Maela

The Bafana Bafana defender selflessly dedicated the win to his teammates. “Leading this club is a tremendous honor and privilege,” Maela said. “It’s a truly special feeling. I’m incredibly grateful to the management and the players for entrusting me with this leadership role.”

Despite his captaincy, Maela has seen limited playing time this season, with Nkosinathi Sibisi, Thapelo Xoki, Thabiso Sesane, Olisa Ndah, and Sibusiso Mthethwa preferred in defense.

“It’s no easy task,” Maela acknowledged. “I want to acknowledge the other leaders within our group – TP (Xoki), Bodlela (Sibisi) – all the leaders. I constantly emphasize that individual leadership is paramount before leading others. That’s the message I preach every day.”

About Author

Samkelo Biyela

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *