JOHANNESBURG - Kaizer Chiefs coach Ernst Middendorp described 2019 as an effective year, having endured a number of highs and lows.
The highs have seen the German named Absa Premiership Coach of the Month on three successive occasions in the 2019/20 season while Amakhosi have led the pack for the most part of the first half of the season.
But before these highs, there were the lows of losing the Nedbank Cup final in May to first division side TS Galaxy. Chiefs finished that season outside the top eight, serving as inspiration for them to bounce back stronger. Middendorp is celebrating a year at the club in December in his second stint. He was brought last year to fix the mess that Giovanni Solinas and Steve Komphela had left behind as Chiefs had forgotten what it felt like to be champions.
“It was a huge advantage being able to come in, in the second half of a run of Kaizer Chiefs in the last season,” Middendorp said.
“The knowledge, assessment and what I picked up on how certain things should be done in managing the team and guiding them was a huge advantage for me going into this season. This is despite the results not being there in the first half of 2019. But in preparing the run for the 2019/20 season, fantastic! You learn from both sides on what it takes to be a coach of Kaizer Chiefs, losing a game, losing a final and dropping out of the top eight. But that’s part of the business, that’s part of the profile of being a soccer coach. We are good now. Personally, it was an effective 2019.”