As Kaizer Chiefs finalise their preparations for the all-important Nedbank Cup final against TS Galaxy in Durban this coming weekend, the club’s head coach Ernst Middendorp was asked a very important question about the club’s dismal league performance this season.
Speaking during Chiefs’ media open day on Wednesday morning at the club’s village in Naturena, Middendorp was asked if winning this trophy could mask their disappointing finish outside the Top 8 in the league this season.
After huffing and puffing this season, Chiefs could only settle for the 9th place in the league, with only 9 wins, 12 draws, 9 losses and 39 points.
SABC Sport understands that the club’s hierarchy feels that not even success this coming weekend will make them forget the disappointing finish in the league. But Middendorp seems to think otherwise.
In four years, Chiefs has had three coaches, six assistant coaches and there’s been a turnover of 49 players coming in and out in this period.
As they continue to release more players and more by means of settling without getting anything in return, it’s a business model that talks of a club without a plan and is bleeding financially.
After the club’s captain Itumeleng Khune, well-travelled Bafana Bafana striker Bernard Parker is the longest serving player at chiefs having spent at least eight years at Naturena now. He reflects on this past season.
Middendorp arrived at Chiefs at the beginning of December last year to replace Giovanni Solinas who was only brought in to take the place of Steve Komphela in July last year.
The German born coach who is in his second stint with Amakhosi, having overseen the team in 23 matches the last time they last failed to achieved a top eight finish in 2006/2007, was also asked about his future at the club.
Parker was part of the team which won two doubles including league titles under Stuart Baxter’s three-year reign at Chiefs.
He’s also been part of the four-year drought since the current Bafana Bafana coach’s departure in 2015.
The 33-year-old says victory over Dan “Dance” Malesela NFD side on Saturday evening is a must. – Report by Velile Mnyandu