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Kaizer Chiefs coach Middendorp miffed at Safa and national coaches

Kaizer Chiefs head coach Ernst Middendorp cuts a frustrated figure on the touchline.
Kaizer Chiefs head coach Ernst Middendorp cuts a frustrated figure on the touchline.
Image: Sydney Mahlangu/ BackpagePix

Kaizer Chiefs coach Ernst Middendorp is disappointed at the lack of communication he receives from the SA Football Association (Safa) and national team coaches surrounding call-ups for his players.

Middendorp said that Chiefs receive call-up papers from Safa for national duty. However‚ he has expressed concern that no national coach‚ or Safa official‚ contacts him for direct communication of players’ form or match fitness.

“Actually‚ no. I have no line [of communication]. Whenever it is possible I go and watch the national teams‚ like the qualifier between South Africa Under-23 and Angola on Tuesday at Bidvest Stadium‚” Middendorp said.

“I’m there‚ I’m around. I greet the [Safa] president‚ Mr Danny Jordaan. I have a short chat. The national team coaches are all around. And I am not in contact with them‚ or have any communication.

“That’s not my role – that’s the responsibility of the association.

"If they want to have a chat – the national team coach‚ the Olympic coach‚ the Under-20 or U-17 coach‚ whoever it is – at any time‚ they are welcome.

“If they want an impression from my side they can at any time get an opinion. But there is no communication.

“I get papers that the players are invited‚ and that’s it. Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr is in direct contact [with his clubs]. That shows me there is a little bit of a different approach.”

Middendorp said a recent example where direct contact with him from Safa or a national coach might have benefited all concerned was Chiefs right-back Reeve Frosler’s call-up for an SA Under-23 camp this month.

Frosler was part of U-23 coach David Notoane’s 27-man extended squad for a camp ahead of the Olympic team’s Africa U-23 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Angola.

The defender was not included in the final squad that went on to do duty with a 6-1 aggregate win this past week‚ ostensibly because he lacked match fitness having not played for Chiefs‚ or previous club Bidvest Wits‚ for months.

“Reeve Frosler was a bit disturbed. He got invited for the camp. I would have loved to see him here‚ to see him here working on his intensity and what he has to do‚” Middendorp said.

“But‚ OK‚ in the end he was sent home with a reason. I would have said we could have discussed it before the invitation was done.”

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