News24

Palmer happy to be back

2011-03-14 20:09

Johannesburg - Ian Palmer who takes over coaching reins of the KwaZulu-Natal outfit Maritzburg United following the dismissal of German-born Ernst Middendorp, held his first training session with the side on Monday.

Palmer said that his immediate task was to ensure that United retain their Premiership status next season.

This will be the former Orlando Pirates striker's second stint with United having coached them three seasons ago. The Team of Choice is 14th on the table with 22 points after 24 rounds of matches and still in relegation threat.

"My first duty here is to make sure that we remain in top flight football in the new season," said Palmer.

"I must say that the mood is fantastic at training but if you don't get results then heads tend to drop, meaning that another thing I have to work on with the team is their mindset."

United chairman Farouk Kadodia contacted Palmer on Saturday morning after parting ways with Middendorp with an offer to be in charge of the outfit until the end of the season. "Having worked with Ian before and with him being available immediately, the directors of the club believe that he is the best person to take the team forward," Kadodia said.

"He has high energy levels as a coach and will get his players to go out onto the field and fight for him."

Palmer's first task is a Premiership match against Platinum Stars at Harry Gwala Stadium on Wednesday night where he aims to get off the mark with a confidence boosting win.

Good news ahead of his first selection will be the availability of striker Rudolf Bester from injury. The speedy Namibian is among the league's top scorers this campaign with eight goals to his name.

"It is vital that we get maximum points against Stars. There is a three point gap between us and (15th placed) Moroka Swallows," said Palmer.

"Not saying that we are underestimating our opponents, but Swallows' next fixtures will be tough against Bloemfontein Celtic and Orlando Pirates, so we need to make the most of this match and our next one against Free State Stars."

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