Sport / Phakaaathi / Local Soccer

Sibongiseni Gumbi
Football Writer
1 minute read
21 May 2021
11:07 am

Middendorp ‘unaware’ of game milestone, calls for unity among coaches

Sibongiseni Gumbi

“It doesn’t matter if I am here working in Pietermaritzburg or that Pitso (Mosimane) is working in Cairo, we are all the same," said Middendorp.

Ernst Middendorp, head coach of Maritzburg United has called for unity amongst the coaches (Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix)

Ernst Middendorp has seen and done a lot since he first came to South Africa to join Kaizer Chiefs back in 2005, and this week sat in the dugout for his 360th game. But the Freren, Germany born mentor says he wasn’t even aware of the milestone.

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This could be because he faces a difficult task of rescuing Maritzburg United from relegation, a job that now looks possible. Maritzburg are just one point away from complete safety from the axe.

In his 360th game, Middendorp – known for his irritability – played to a goalless draw away at Cape Town City. He earned a valuable point that helps in easing the pressure.

He was much calmer and even gave a faint smile as he asked a SuperSport TV cameraman why he had to follow him around. But the reason might have been that he had had a heated reaction after their last game against Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila.

Asked about his 360th game, he said: “Ja, it’s fantastic. I haven’t been counting. If this is the case, then I am probably the coach from outside with the highest number (of games). It’s nice. But I am always talking about how we are global players in this soccer industry.

“It doesn’t matter if I am here working in Pietermaritzburg or that Pitso (Mosimane) is working in Cairo, we are all the same. I personally don’t think too much about the talk about foreign coaches and whatever… Let’s all be colleagues and provide certain conducts… that’s important for us.”