• Middendorp admits to challenging pre-season at Chiefs

    Ernst Middendorp coach of Kaizer Chiefs

    Kaizer Chiefs head coach Ernst Middendorp admits pre-season has been challenging for his team, with many key players still not back from completing national duty at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.

    Bafana Bafana’s Daniel Cardoso, Ramahlwe Mphahlele and Bruce Bvuma, Nigeria’s Daniel Akpeyi and Madagascar’s Andriamirado ‘Dax’ Andrianarimanana are all still to return for pre-season with Amakhosi after completing their national duty at Afcon 2019 in Egypt.

    This meant that Middendorp had to begin his preparations for the new campaign without a number of his key men, which has proved to be challenging.

    ‘I am quite satisfied with how our pre-season camp is going so far given the circumstances we find ourselves in with some of our key players missing due to their country duty in the Afcon tournament,’ Middendorp told the club website.

    ‘We are not complaining but it is a challenge for us preparing for the new season without some of the guys. For instance, we needed Daniel Cardoso and ‘Rama’ Mphahlele today, because we were working on our defensive work.

    ‘We have been working hard for the past few days and I’m happy with the response from some of the players. It is good that we do not have any serious injuries and some of the guys who were injured last season are on their way back to full recovery.’

    Khama Billiat is the only international player who is back in the team as Zimbabwe were knocked out in the first round of the Afcon finals with the other players hopefully joining the camp soon, according to German coach.

    ‘We have been keeping in touch with the technical and medical teams of the various national teams to check on our players and, so far, there are no injury worries. We hope more players will join us as the week progresses and will be with us when we travel to Botswana on Friday,’ said the Chiefs coach.

    Chiefs face Botswana Premier League giants Township Rollers in a friendly match on Saturday.