When Kaizer Chiefs wanted to turn around their season at the end of the 2018/2019 season when they finished outside the Top 8 and also lost Nedbank Cup title to lower division side TS Galaxy, head coach Ernst Middendorp prioritised his midfield as one key area to beef up.
And he had one player in mind, Fortune Makaringe, a player he had found at Maritzburg United and molded into a star and multifunctional midfielder he is today.
Middendorp says he was comfortable in his pursuit of Makaringe because the midfielder had told him that he’s coming to Chiefs only to be swept away by Orlando Pirates at the end of the season together with his teammate Siphesihle Ndlovu.
In the audio below, coach Ernst Middendorp’s views on Makaringe while the player explains how Ernst help to hone his skills
The mentor and his student will meet again on Saturday in the Soweto Derby at FNB stadium but it won’t be a friendly affair this time around.
The feeling is mutual when it comes to Makaringe and talking about Middendorp, he had been brought to the Team of Choice by Steve Komphela and Mandla Ncikazi as they signed him from Moroka Swallows.
But after they left it was left to the combination of Middendorp and his then assistant Fadlu Davids (now Pirates assistant) to transform him.
This will be Middendorp’s eighth official Soweto derby, his first stint last from 2005 until 2007 and he had inherited a team that won two back to back league titles under the late Ted Dumitru.
The German-born coach says there’s always that player who rises for the derby only, and back then it was David Radebe.
Anything less than three points tomorrow is likely to cause some panic in the Chiefs camp as this will allow teams like Sundowns which have a lot of experience in chasing the league title in recent season further ground to close the gap.
Middendorp who has no history of chasing nor winning the league title in the PSL, was philosophical in his response.
☠ Watch today’s @orlandopirates vs @KaizerChiefs Pre-Match Press Conference
🎙 Assistant Coach | @FDavids10
🎙 Captain | @JeleHappy
🎙 Goalkeeper | @waynesandilands
🎙 Midfielder | Makaringe
📺 PiratesTV 👉🏾 https://t.co/Toe15ofTBU
⚫⚪🔴⭐#AbsaPrem #SowetoDerby#OnceAlways pic.twitter.com/qanNgPkqM0
— Orlando Pirates FC (@orlandopirates) February 25, 2020
– Report by Velile Mnyandu