Kaizer Chiefs’ coach Ernst Middendorp is adamant that his out of contract players will give their all despite facing uncertainty at Naturena.
Few players in the Amakhosi camp, who form the spine of Middendorp’s rejuvenated side, are in their last 6 months of their contracts and they are yet to sign new deals.
Those players include Nigerian goalminder Daniel Akpeyi, Willard Katsande, George Maluleka and Bernard Parker, who has an option to renew.
Amakhosi management are also yet to decide the fate of out of favour midfield general Siphelele Ntshangase, Lorenzo Gordihno and Joseph Molangoane, who has been battling with long-term injuries.
“If you know your contract is coming to an end in June, six months into it, you should perform to make it happen for yourself staying here at Kaizer Chiefs and secondly, putting yourself in a positive position,” said Middendorp.
“It’s always about negotiations and we know it. We are in this business in terms of coaches or players too who sign contracts over 1 year or 2 years and negotiations come. And it’s always performance related. I think the players being in this role, being in this position are all experienced players. Most of them having a position. I don’t think it will influence them in a negative way,” said Middendorp.
While other players would love to turn out for Chiefs next season, according to reports, Gordinho is weighing his options elsewhere. Bidvest Wits and Orlando Pirates are said to be interested. Gordinho is said to have turned down a return to Bloemfontein Celtic on loan until the end of the season.
Middendorp said as a technical team, they have notified the management on players to be kept or let go.
“There is a very clear way to handle it as a technical team. We have done our (analysis)… at the end of November, we are very clear positioning in a way to stay ok players coming out of contract. What is our thinking about them, what is our assessment and the club is aware about it from the technical team’s side.
“And it should be discussed inside. I think it is not fair at all discussing it in public. Inside behind closed doors we have very clear ideas about how far we will go doing everything to keep a player or probably thinking about other directions,” said Middendorp.
By Innocent Ngwenya