Middendorp reflected on the two back-to-back weekend tour of friendly matches, “the first one against Sundowns was a good win. I am happy a player like Leonardo Castro came to the party and put up his hand as a force to be reckoned with. Yagan Sasman was also tested on what I thought is his rightful position at centre-back. A few other elements including combinations came to the fore.”
“I am happy with the tour,”. “It was a good part of our preparations for going to the next matches.” said coach Ernst Middendorp
Chiefs beat Mamelodi Sundowns in the Shell Helix Ultra Cup on Saturday afternoon at FNB Stadium. 4-2 was result courtesy of Castro and Khama Billiat. The results were pleasing and will encourage the team going to the Telkom Knockout Cup this coming weekend according to the coach.
Moving to Sunday’s trip to Boemfontein, the team took part in the iTau Macufe Cup played in a fully packed Free State Stadium against Bloemfontein Celtic. “The results were not good,” referred the German to the 2-0 loss to a gallant and an enthusiastic Celtic. “We achieved a lot in this match,” continued Middendorp, “we played with mostly the players that have not played in four months. Some came through with good performances and some struggled a bit. But it is all good. We have seen a pool of players that will be on standby and ready when called upon to do the job.”
Middendorp travelled with no less that six of the Youth Development players. Keletso Sifama, Lebohang Lesako, Sabelo Radebe, Darrel Matsheke and Bontle Molefe, with Sizwe Twala already in the mix and Njabulo Blom establishing himself in the right full back. “This was to give the young lads some look and feel of the first team experience,” I am happy with their response. Sifama for example is only sixteen. We wanted to check his physique and how he will be able to cope.” said Middendorp
With the FIFA International break ending on Tuesday, Chiefs will turn their focus to prepare for their upcoming Telkom Cup match against Cape Town City on Saturday.
“I saw Erick Mathoho started for Bafana Bafana against Mali,” concluded Middendorp, “Kambole will be back from Zambia as well. Happy Mashiane and Siyabonga Ngezana were also with U23 National Team. So we are should be ready.”