7 possible Ernst Middendorp replacements at Chiefs

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From the day Kaizer Chiefs BLEW IT, it was just inevitable that Ernst Middendorp would disgracefully exit Kaizer Chiefs’ revolving door.

There was absolutely no way the club’s management would turn a deaf ear to its heartbroken fans after Mamelodi Sundowns snatched in the most unacceptable circumstances. Unforgivable it was!

Now, the Soweto giants must get a replacement ahead of the new season. With Middendorp gone, his assistant, Shaun Bartlett, who was thought to be an option for promotion after understudying the German was also axed.

Who could be the man to take up the reins at the trophy-starved Glamour Boys? FARPost looks at some of the options they have and rates their chances.

ADEL AMROUCHE [Highly likely]

A reputable Botswana publication last week reported that Chiefs have turned their attention to the Belgian-Algerian as one of the possible candidates to take over from Middendorp. According to the report, Amakhosi were keen on Amrouche before he signed a three-year deal with the Zebras last year after beating over 40 applicants to land the job. He holds vast experience on the African continent after stints with Equatorial Guinea, Burundi, Kenya and Libya over the past two decades. Botswana Football Association (BFA) president, Maclean Letshwiti admitted it was expected that the highly rated coach would attract interest. “He is a good coach and will obviously attract interest, but thus far, nothing official has come to us,” Letshwiti said.

GAVIN HUNT [Highly likely]

Following the sale of Bidvest Wits, Hunt is presently jobless and is certainly among the top options for the Phefeni Glamour Boys. Of course, Hunt has previously poured cold water on the reports, having told the media: “Listen, it’s quite embarrassing for me. Because somebody’s got a job‚ and my name’s being thrown about here.” Now that somebody has lost that job, the four-time League title winner with SuperSport United and Wits certainly looks like a candidate Chiefs would consider.

STUART BAXTER [Likely]

Indications are that the former Amakhosi and Bafana Bafana mentor may be willing to return to South Africa for a second spell with the club after leading them to four domestic trophies between 2012 and 2015. He joined Amakhosi and helped them win 2 League titles in 3 years during his tenure. In the 2012-13 season, Baxter steered Amakhosi to the championship before winning it again in 2015 and he left for Turkey soon afterwards. Baxter, who also had a stint with SuperSport, was appointed head coach of Indian Super League side Odisha FC in June, with the 2020-21 season scheduled to kick off in November. He certainly sounds like a good option for the club considering his remarkable record with them.

BENNI MCCARTHY [Unlikely]

Bafana Bafana’s all-time top scorer with 31 goals sent a heartfelt message to the club following last weekend’s heartbreak sparking rumours he is interested in the job. He launched his coaching career with a decent stint with Cape Town City. He is currently out of a job and has made it clear on Marawa TV that he would gladly take up the challenge of coaching the Naturena side. “As a kid growing up, I have always been a Chiefs supporter so yes [I would consider coaching Chiefs]. I have a soft spot for Kaizer Chiefs in my heart.” McCarthy gloriously guided City to the 2018 MTN8 triumph and also finished as runners-up in the same competition a year before. He is currently in Scotland with his family and has often said he would welcome an opportunity to come back home.

OWEN DA GAMA [Unlikely]

The Highlands Park mentor is also a prime target for Tshakhuma Tsha Madzhivhandila, who bought Bidvest Wits’ PSL status and looks set to join them. He is set to meet the management of Highlands Park over his future after the club received an offer from TS Galaxy president Tim Sukazi for their PSL status. The religious Da Gama is likely to tell you it’s all in God’s hands when you ask him.

RUUD KROL [Highly unlikely]

Who would forget the Dutchman who steered Orlando Pirates to an iconic treble? Apparently, he would love to return to South Africa but Amakhosi are reportedly not considering him at this stage. Krol recently lifted his third league title since leaving Orlando Pirates in 2011 and despite being contracted to Kuwait SC, he admits he would be open to moving to either of the Soweto giants – Amakhosi or Bucs – should they activate his release clause. He is on record as saying he thoroughly enjoyed his time in the country and loved the people.

Gordon Igesund [Unlikely]

The four-time League champion will likely be in the periphery in the race for the Chiefs job. Although his CV speaks volumes, his absence over the past few years from topflight football could be a concern. He has recently expressed an interest in coaching again after spending the last two years building an academy from the ground up.

RELATED STORY: BREAKING NEWS: Chiefs fire Middendorp

By Mthokozisi Dube

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