Perennial caretaker Davids did in three games what predecessor Sa couldn’t do in seven outings

08 May 2017 - 12:54 By Njabulo Ngidi
Roger De Sa, Head Coach Ajax Cape Town, during the MTN8 Final match between Kaizer Chiefs and Ajax Cape Town at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on September 19, 2015 in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.
Roger De Sa, Head Coach Ajax Cape Town, during the MTN8 Final match between Kaizer Chiefs and Ajax Cape Town at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on September 19, 2015 in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.
Image: Richard Huggard/Gallo Images

Fadlu Davids remains humble despite turning things around at Maritzburg United to a point that the club believes that they can finish in the top eight.

The Team of Choice won just once in seven matches under De Sa before his resignation.

Davids has guided the club to four victories in six matches‚ including a huge win over championship contenders Cape Town City.

Two of those wins came in Davids' first three matches‚ taking Maritzburg to seventh place.

“It’s not me‚” Davids said.

“It’s the players. They are doing it. I am just continuing where Roger (de Sa) left off and where Ernst (Middendorp) left off.

"Ernst set the foundation after revamping the squad last season.

"He put the structures in place. It’s not me‚ I am just continuing where they left off.

"I know the strengths of the players.”

Knowing the strengths of the players has seen the Team of Choice play some enterprising football in Davids’ second stint as interim coach after yet another resignation.

Middendorp was the first to quit in November last year with 10 points in 10 matches.

Davids took over and helped the club collect nine points in five games‚ with three draws and two wins.

Even with that success he doesn’t want to talk about being in charge of the club on a full-time basis.

“I said it many times‚ I don’t comment on that.

"I’ll only speak about it at the end of the season and make a decision‚” Davids said.

Instead of talking about what he has done‚ Davids credits Middendorp for turning the Team of Choice from a club that was fighting to avoid relegation last season to looking to finish in the top eight in this campaign.

At the heart of that success is promoting a number of young players who are holding their own in the first team.

Some of those young players – like Siphesihle Ndlovu‚ Bandile Shandu and Mlondi Dlamini – started out as ball boys before going all the way to the first team.

Davids was there at every step of their growth‚ making their transition to the first team easier.

“He (Middendorp) revamped the squad‚” Davids said.

“He released 10 players and brought in new players.

"He started training these younger guys with real potential.

"He signed experience in the right areas‚ players like (Denis) Weidlich‚ Bevan Fransman and Themba Shabalala.

"These guys have come in and made the difference. Kurt Lentjies is really taking the leadership role and it’s fantastic.

"These youngsters can’t shine if we don’t have these experience guys helping and guiding them. We have to strike the balance right."

- TMG Digital/TMG Sport

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