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Is new Swallows FC coach Middendorp trying too desperately to put Kaizer Chiefs' trophy failure behind him?

4:45 PM GMT 26/12/2022
Ernst Middendorp
New Swallows FC coach Ernst Middendorp believes developing the game in South Africa is more important than winning silverware and PSL titles.
  • Middendorp was recently appointed Swallows coach
  • He has managed 395 South African top-tier matches
  • The German insists he has done a lot in the country

WHAT HAPPENED: Despite serving South African football extensively, Middendorp has not managed to win any domestic title.

The best he has done is to finish second with Kaizer Chiefs in the 2019/20 season and enable the team to qualify for the Caf Champions League in the process.

He failed to turn things around for the Amakhosi, and departed amidst criticisms of his lack of trophy success with the Glamour Boys.

However, the tactician insists he has done a lot for South Africa as far as football is concerned suggesting he should not be judged by failure to win silverware.

The 64-year-old says he should be credited for developing the likes of Bandile Shandu, and Fortune Makaringe among other notable names, but is he trying too hard to put his past failures behind him?

WHAT THEY SAID: "Let’s not talk about winning cups, or winning championships – let’s talk about contribution! how many players, talents from the beginning," Middendorp said as quoted by iDiski Times.

"It doesn’t matter. If it is Bandile Shandu, Makaringe, Ndlovu, Dumisani Zuma, and all were rejected by a number of coaches before and I got them into the right moment. Lebo Maboe was just an ordinary player at Mbombela on the side, playing a little bit here and playing a little bit there, I picked him up.

"Immediately, he [Maboe] was aware of it (his talent) as I brought him into the central position [at Maritzburg United]. I can continue, I can tell you every year. I can tell you a number of players here and the number of players I have introduced to the highest level, in Ghana, in Germany – whenever I have been."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: At Swallows, the veteran tactician will be assisted by Musa Nyatama, a player to whom he gave a chance in his first stint at Maritzburg United.

Middendorp has managed 395 games in South Africa - the most by a foreigner. Muhsin Ertugral is second having managed 394 league matches. Swallows are just two points above the relegation zone and Middendorp will have to ensure the team avoids the axe if he's to stave off yet more criticism of his record.

WHAT NEXT: Middendorp's first assignment will be against Richards Bay on December 31.