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ANOTHER BOMBSHELL: Kaizer Chiefs appoint Ernst Middendorp

07 December 2018 - 19:52 By Marc Strydom
Ernst Middendorp is the new Kaizer Chiefs head coach.
Ernst Middendorp is the new Kaizer Chiefs head coach.
Image: Anesh Debiky/Gallo Images

Kaizer Chiefs, just hours after announcing the firing of head coach Giovanni Solinas on Friday, made another shock announcement with the appointment of Ernst Middendorp to the position.

Former Maritzburg United, Lamontville Golden Arrows, Arminia Bielefeld, Chippa United and Bloefontein Celtic coach Middendorp returns for his second stint at Amakhosi, whom he coached from 2005 to 2007.

He returns to the Premier Soccer League having worked as technical director from 2017 for Bangkok United in Thailand.

Middendorp's appointment, like that of Solinas in mid-July, will raise eyebrows. He has had a chequered career.

He has coached in the Bundesliga, famously being voted Bielefeld's coach of the century on their 100th anniversary in 2005. He then joined Amakhosi in the 2005-06 season, won the 2006 Absa Cup and 2006 SAA Supa 8.

Middendorp was fired in March 2007, and Chiefs went on to a worst PSL finish of ninth in the 2006-07 season.

Middendorp spectacularly led Maritzburg from an almost impossible situation to being saved from relegation on the final day of the 2015-16 season.

He is credited by current Maritzburg coach Fadlu Davids - Middendorp's protege and assistant at Celtic and United - with having laid the foundations for the club's best season in 2017-18, finishing fourth under Davids and losing 1-0 against Free State Stars in the Nedbank Cup final.

Players who serve under Middendorp praise him for his technical astuteness and in-depth knowledge of all players in the PSL.

However, the coach's fiery, many would say erratic, personality, and run-ins with administrators, match officials and sometimes his own players have often been his downfall at clubs.