Kaizer Chiefs were looking for a new coach who is experienced and has an understanding of the club’s footballing culture, which is why they opted for Ernst Middendorp to replace Giovanni Solinas.
That was the explanation from Chiefs chairman Kaizer Motaung on Friday night following the shock recall of Middendorp for a second stint in charge of the Amakhosi.
The 60-year-old German was the Chiefs coach between 2005 and 2007. The club pointed out on their website on Friday that they won “several trophies” under Middendorp – the Absa Cup, SAA Supa 8 and Telkom Knockout.
Middendorp’s most recent gig was in Thailand at Bangkok United as the technical director.
Before his first Chiefs tenure, he had coached in his native Germany at clubs like Arminia Bielefeld, VfL Bochum and FC Augsburg, as well as in Ghana at Asante Kotoko and Hearts of Oak.
“We were looking for a coach who is experienced and who has an understanding of the club’s footballing culture,” Motaung said.
“That’s certainly the case with Middendorp, who won trophies during his previous stint in charge of Kaizer Chiefs.
“Middendorp also understands South African football well, having a vast knowledge and experience of our local football. We are looking forward to working together.
“We need stability, and the coach will start working with the team on Saturday.”
Chiefs’ next match is on Wednesday, December 12 against SuperSport United (7.30pm) at Mbombela Stadium.
The club stated that “the targeted assistant coach will be announced soon” as a replacement for the sacked Patrick Mabedi, while reserve team coach Arthur Zwane will assist Middendorp for the next three games.