Sibongiseni Gumbi
Football Writer
2 minute read
27 Jan 2019
9:20 am

Middendorp to field ‘best’ possible Chiefs side against Tornado

Sibongiseni Gumbi

Sometimes it doesn't matter what the size or shape of a bull's horns is – it is just the fighting spirit that ultimately counts.

Ernst Middendorp, coach of Kaizer Chiefs (Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix)

This is the sentiment that ABC Motsepe League outfit Tornado FC are taking into their gigantic Nedbank Cup last-32 game where they host Kaizer Chiefs at East London’s Sisa Dukashe Stadium in Mdantsane this afternoon.

The minnows have nothing to lose anyway and speaking earlier this week their chairman Siphiwo Nyobo said they are aiming to be trending on social media by upsetting Amakhosi.

However, the Glamour Boys coach Ernst Middendorp said they were leaving nothing to chance in their preparations.

“It is our obligation to take the game seriously. We will bring the best team possible for the match, but with an eye on upcoming games as well,” said the Chiefs coach.

Despite his statements, it is only natural that Middendorp will give some of the players who have not seen much game time since he took over a chance to show what they can do, with the likes of Gustavo Paez, Bongolethu Jayiya and newly promoted youngster Happy Mashiane in line for a run-out today.

“Jayiya and Paez are getting closer to getting game time. They are working hard after losing their place in the team. We are very happy with the way they are training. And given the amount of injuries we have, they should soon get a run,” said Middendorp.

With Itumeleng Khune out with injury, goalkeeping remains Chiefs’ Achilles heel with Virgil Vries giving questionable displays in almost every game, but Middendorp again defended the Namibian.

“Vries is very much his own man. He is not competing to be like Khune. The two come from different backgrounds and have had different experiences. We will work with him and we have full confidence in him,” said Middendorp.

Mashiane – who was handed a senior team contract early this week after impressing Middendorp – was with Chiefs’ MultiChoice Diski Challenge team and could be given his debut.

The 20-year-old leftback told the club’s website he wanted to make his family happy by living up to expectations.


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