Absa Premiership

Middendorp, Maritzburg in contract talks

2016-05-24 12:17
Ernst Middendorp (Gallo)

Cape Town - He may not be Maritzburg United's most successful coach ever - that honour still belongs to Steve Komphela - but Ernst Middendorp's contribution in the 2015/16 season is perhaps the most valuable of any manager the club has ever had. 

Having taken the reins at Harry Gwala Stadium for the third time in his career, Middendorp arrived in December with United rock bottom of the PSL and staring relegation square in the face. 

His tally of 21 points in 18 games, which included a dramatic final day win over Jomo Cosmos this past weekend, somehow kept Maritzburg United in the PSL. 

The first order of business for chairman Farouk Kadodia is to ensure that Middendorp is on board in 2016/17. 

"We are currently in negotiations with Ernst over a contract extension for next season," Kadodia told Sport24, adding that Middendorp had expressed a desire to stay on at the club. 

Middendorp's initial contract was until the end of the current season. 

He was the third coach at the Team of Choice this season and his arrival was met with raised eyebrows after Clive Barker was sacked just as it seemed United were turning the corner.

"We knew Ernst's capabilities," Kadodia said. 

"He is an extremely strong leader and that is what we needed this season.

"The support from the fans has also been magnificent. We have had 8 000 people at our home games despite us facing relegation.

"We had 1 000 people travel on buses fro  Pietermaritzburg to Potchefstroom (for the Cosmos game)."

Kadodia added that United's major struggles this season had stemmed from an inability to secure a corporate sponsor.

He called for a fairer distribution of resources throughout the league.

"We have offered a lot to this league and have always done our best to play football that the fans enjoy," he said.


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