25th February 2023
With the reality of the DStv Premiership title being out of sight, the consolation prize is now a CAF Champions League or Confederation Cup spot for runners-up and third place.
Maela says a win over rivals Kaizer Chiefs this afternoon would bring them a step closer to playing interclub matches, although he is fully aware it’s not just winning the Soweto Derby that seals a CAF position.
"At the moment, every point we get will help us achieve our objective – [which is to] finish as high as possible, so whether we win on the weekend or the next match, or the one after that, every point we get will help us achieve our objective," said the Bucs skipper.
Pirates reached the final of the Confed Cup last season before going down to Morocco’s RS Berkane, and Maela feels that’s the right level to test themselves outside domestic football.
"Ja, we want to go back, that competition is nice, it gives you so much energy because you're playing against better players [and] you're playing in different countries," he added.
"So, the appetite is there for us to go back and we want to make sure that we work hard and ultimately achieve that.
"I mean, especially the players that have played in CAF competitions before – when we watch on TV and we watch the group stages, we talk to each other and we're like, 'Eish, we miss it, we need to go back.'
"It's very important for player development because you are exposed to a lot of conditions out there on the continent."