Maritzburg United open to Ernst Middendorp’s return
DURBAN – Maritzburg United chairperson Farook Kadodia has confirmed that the club is open to negotiating with German journeyman Ernst Middendorp over their vacant coaching position but “there is nothing concrete as yet”.
“It is only speculation at this stage. Middendorp is in Ethiopia but if he does come to South Africa, we will talk to him,” said Kadodia of the rumours linking his club to Middendorp.
Middendorp managed the Team of Choice between 2009-11, had a second stint with the club from 2012-13 and a third betwen 2016 and 2017.
The Pietermaritzburg-based club sacked coach Eric Tinkler earlier this week following a poor start to the season which has seen them lose their opening five games in all competitions. Tinkler became the second coach in the Dstv Premiership to be fired this season after Baroka FC parted ways with Dylan Kerr who has quickly resurfaced at Black Leopards.
Maritzburg are rooted to the bottom of the standings and are the only side that has yet to register a point. Their most recent result was a 1-0 loss to perennial strugglers Black Leopards last weekend.
Middendorp is currently without a job after resigning from his post with Ethiopian club Saint George SC earlier this week, citing the political instability that is currently plaguing the nation.
Prior to his short stint in Ethiopia, the 62-year-old coached Kaizer Chiefs. Under his leadership the Glamour Boys dominated the Premiership for the majority of last season before a dramatic loss of form in the bio-bubble led to them sensationally losing the title on the final day of the season to Mamelodi Sundowns.
The German has a wealth of experience having coached 20 teams in a managerial career which started in 1987 with German lower league side Eintracht Nordhorn. He has coached across three continents – Africa, Europe and Asia.
Though highly experienced, Middendorp has a mixed reputation in South African football circles.
His tactics have been scrutinized for being predictable and boring. However, he has won trophies in the past. In his first stint as Kaizer Chiefs boss, he led the Soweto giants to the 2006 Absa Cup (replaced by Telkom Knockout) and the 2006 SAA Supa 8 (now MTN 8).
He famously also led Chiefs to victory in the 2006 Vodacom Challenge after they defeated Sir
Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United side on penalties in the final.