LESS than 24 hours after dismissing their former coach Giovanni Solinas, Kaizer Chiefs wasted no time in confirming Ernst Middendorp as commander in chief to their troubled technical team.
The German-born coach makes his return to the Naturena side 11 years later after he parted ways with the club which he steered to win double titles, the Absa Cup (now Nedbank Cup) and then SAA Supa 8 (now MTN8) in 2006.
Middendorp left Chiefs to join his country’s Arminia Belefeld where he was fired after nine months in charge, and from there he has been to a number of clubs in his country and one in China with no good record.
The 60 year-old soft-spoken coached came back to the South African shores in 2009 and coached a number of clubs which include Maritzburg United, Bloemfontein Celtic, Free State Stars and Chippa United.
Chiefs chairman Kaizer Motaung is of hope that they have finally found their man in Middendorp after three and half seasons of cup glory drought.
“We were looking for a coach who is experienced and who has an understanding of the club’s footballing culture,” said Motaung on Chiefs’ official website
Chiefs’ coaching troubles started three seasons ago after they appointed Steve Khompela as the head coach. Khompela who is now Celtic coach guided Chiefs for the entire three seasons without bringing any silver-ware to the mighty Amakhosi’ trophy cabinet, and the appointment of his predecessors in Solinas proved to be another recipe for disaster.
Middendorp is expected to be in charge during Chiefs’ next league match against SuperSport United this coming Wednesday and Arthur “10111” Zwane will be his assistant after the club’s decision not to renew Patrick Mabedi’s contract.