Absa Premiership leaders Chiefs enjoyed a long run of blazing wins this season - thanks to a core of players you could name in your sleep. But back at home and in the stands sat other players with futures outside the gates of Naturena.
Coaches arrive at a club either at the start of pre-preseason (most ideal) or some time during a season campaign. Yet in both cases, the coach will soon realize a couple of names do not have a future in his team. The reasons vary from factors such as ability, attitude, workrate, contractual disagreements or a pure clash of personalities because we are just human after all.
At Amakhosi, there is a rather straight-talking coach who has not held back from saying he is not happy with the performance improvements or playing style of one or two of his popular players.
Nevertheless, whether it is Middendorp or any other coach, the end of the season is a time for players to leave and make way for new names to come.
Kumele kukhale izembe...
Here’s a list of the highest possible exits at Chiefs this season:
- Philani Zulu
Made only three appearances from 27 games. An incredible left-wingback at Maritzburg but things just never went well in Soweto.
- Joseph Molangoane
No matter how horrific an injury is, staying out for more than two seasons is just too long and a big ask. Better to restart in a new environment.
- Siphelele Ntshangase
Zero appearances. Belovedly known as Stash, Ntshangase’s failure at Amakhosi is one of those stories Chiefs fans will always blame someone else for. Middendorp's live radio honesty infuriated thousands of fans when he explained: “Ntshangase just pass, pass but with no end product. Midfield play is about going forward to create and score goals.”
Players who’ve rejected new deals:
- Leonardo Castro (future is unknown. Likely to leave Mzansi).
- George Maluleka (heading to Mamelodi Sundowns after signing a mega pre-contract).