Ruud Krol for Maritzburg job?
Johannesburg - Former Orlando Pirates coach Ruud Krol tops the list of shortlisted candidates for the vacant Maritzburg United coaching job.
The coastal club said on Wednesday the list also included Manqoba Mngqithi, Boebie Solomons and, strangely, former Maritzburg coach Ernst Middendorp.
Krol, the former Dutch national captain, led Pirates to a treble of trophies last season before parting ways with the club, and was interviewed for the job on Tuesday.
"Our chairman [Farouk Kadodia] went up to Johannesburg to interview Krol and Middendorp," said the club's communications manager, Younus Kadodia.
"It's obviously a position that he and the board of directors want filled as soon as possible, and we didn't think we were going to be looking for a coach at this time of the season.
"We have compiled a list of candidates and are busy looking at the number of coaches available.
"As a club we will not be recruiting anyone that's foreign to the Premier Soccer league."
United want a replacement for Ian Palmer who was sacked last week after nearly a year in the position.
Mngqithi, a highly rated local coach, has been clubless since he was fired by AmaZulu earlier in the season, and worked with Shakes Mashaba and the SA Under-23 team on an interim basis in the African Olympic qualifiers in Morocco in December.
Solomons, too, has good credentials in his numerous stints with Santos before being "redeployed" within the struggling Cape team's structures last month.
He also coached Wits back to the Premiership from the first division four seasons ago, winning the then Mvela Golden League.
The surprise name is that of German trainer Middendorp who acrimoniously parted ways with United at this stage last season, going on to file a lawsuit against the Team of Choice for unfair dismissal.
Bizarrely, he had asked for the club to fire him on national television, straining his relations with top management while the side was fighting relegation. He departed a week later.
Middendorp was sacked by Golden Arrows earlier this season.
Ironically, he now stands to replace Palmer, the man that took over from him mid-season last year, helping United maintain their Premiership status.
"It was a pity that he lost his cool and voiced his frustrations on television like he did, but you can't question his tactical acumen," Kadodia said.
"Plus it's football where you can't burn the bridges with anyone because you are bound to cross in the future."