News of Middendorp’s departure from Stars were confirmed by the Bethlehem-based team’s manager Rantsi Mokoena.
“Yes, I can confirm that Ernst has resigned as Stars coach. Obviously, his resignation came as a shock to us,” said Mokoena.
“I was busy wrapping up at the office for the Christmas holidays when I got an email from him, saying he is leaving. We didn’t have time to talk about it. We were caught by surprise. I mean, we’re on the break and we’re returning on January 9, so when are we going to organise another coach now? Anyway, what is done is done,” he added.
Stars said in a statement that an announcement on who will take over from Middendorp will be made in the near future.
Maritzburg have been without a coach for over a month now after releasing Clive Barker last month following a string of indifferent results since the veteran took over from Mandla Ncikazi.
Maritzburg chairman Farouk Kadodia said on Monday Middendorp had not applied for the vacant job at his team.
“Ernst didn’t apply for the job, just like Eric Tinkler didn’t. I don’t know where the stories linking them with Maritzburg come from,” he said.
“I will not talk about someone who has not applied for the job,” he added.
Asked if he would still consider Middendorp’s application if it were to come, Kadodia was evasive.
“Like I said, I cannot talk about someone who has not applied. What I know is that we received many CV from all over the country and outside and that we are still looking at them to ensure we get the right person this time,” he said.
“We have already buggered up twice this season on the coaching front and we can’t afford to blunder again.”
Middendorp has worked twice previously at Maritzburg and has always been admired by the team’s management, who even organised him anger-management courses instead of firing him during his first stint.