• Middendorp, Bartlett combo promising for Chiefs

    Ernst Middendorp, coach of Kaizer Chiefs with Football Manager Bobby Motaung

    The appointment of Ernst Middendorp as head coach at Kaizer Chiefs may have been met with some backlash, but the addition of Shaun Bartlett as his assistant provides the Soweto giants with a promising duo to take the club forward. DEAN WORKMAN explores.

    The German tactician arrived in South Africa for his first stint at Kaizer Chiefs in July 2005. He went on to enjoy a fairly successful time at Naturena, guiding them to the Absa Cup (now Nedbank Cup) and the SAA Super 8 (Now MTN8) during his tenure, which lasted just under two years.

    Watch: Chiefs camp react to Middendorp appointment

    Middendorp’s first spell, however, ended badly with him infamously needing a police escort after matches right before he was relieved of his duties in March 2007 capping a disappointing period of results.

    Middendorp followed his time at Chiefs with jobs in Germany, China and Cyprus before returning for a lengthy spell back in SA at different clubs. The German had spells at Maritzburg United, Bloemfontein Celtic, Golden Arrows, Chippa United and Free State Stars, but none of them lasted longer than a year-and-a-half and often ended in controversy.

    So, it is understandable that some fans were not pleased, at face value, with his appointment.

    The former Augsburg boss has accumulated a wealth of experience in the Premier Soccer League though, which made the addition of the upcoming Bartlett as his assistant a logical choice for the Glamour Boys.

    READ: Motaung: Chiefs hope for long future with Middendorp

    Bartlett has an understanding of the club after having played for them from 2006 until 2008, and of course has the pulling power of being a Bafana Bafana legend who played in the English Premier League, something which will demand instant respect from the players.

    Bartlett has had previous stints as head coach at Golden Arrows and the University of Pretoria, but has failed to make a real mark as coach, making the opportunity at Chiefs a golden one for the former Bafana striker.

    The former Charlton Athletic striker has worked with Middendorp in the past, as they were both at Chiefs in the 2000’s, and the German had a hands-on role in selecting Bartlett to come in as his number two.

    Football manager Bobby Motaung and his new coach both spoke at the coach’s unveiling of the importance of a strong all-round technical team, and with Bartlett joining the team it certainly seems as though Chiefs have a solid base to build on.

    These moves echo Milutin Sredojevic’s return to Pirates for a second spell where he’s working in tandem with Rulani Mokwena to transform the fortunes of the Buccaneers. Middendorp and Bartlett will be aiming for a similar impact, and who know Bartlett may just be a long-term successor in the eyes of the Chiefs hierarchy.

    Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

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