Middendorp signs up with eighth South African side

football18 November 2023 08:43| © Mzansi Football
Ernst Middendorp © Twitter

Cape Town Spurs are the eighth South African club that nomadic coach Ernst Middendorp has taken charge of, as he returns to the helm of a DStv Premiership club.

The 65-year-old Middendorp has signed a two-year deal with the club, who sit bottom of the table after 10 losses in their opening 11 games, and is tasked with saving their top flight status.

Middendorp first arrived in South Africa in 2006 to work at Kaizer Chiefs and had two stints with the club, winning the Absa (now Nedbank) Cup and the SAA Supa Eight (now MTN8) shortly thereafter.

But he has not won any silverware since, despite more than 400 matches in charge of clubs in South African football. The former Bundesliga coach had four spells at Maritzburg United and also worked at Lamontville Golden Arrows, Bloemfontein Celtic, Chippa United, Free State Stars and Moroka Swallows, who he walked out on after 10 games last season to take a job in Germany but was relegated at the end of the season.

He has also taken jobs in Ghana, Cyprus, Thailand and Ethiopia, where he was for only one match earlier this season.

Middendorp will have his first game in charge next Saturday, November 25 when they host Royal AM, followed three days later by another game at the Cape Town stadium against Stellenbosch.

Spurs’ programme for the rest of the year is away at champions Mamelodi Sundowns, then to Durban to face AmaZulu and they finish off with the derby against Cape Town City on New Year’s Eve.

Sean Connor, who had been in charge for the last two games, returns to his job as technical director while assistant coach Vasili Manousakis, who also had two matches in charge as interim coach after the departure of Shaun Bartlett, will be Middendorp’s assistant.