Swallows coach Ernst Middendorp says he shouldn’t be judged based on winning trophies but on the contribution he has made in this country by giving unknown players a chance.

One of those players Middendorp gave a chance to is Njabulo Blom at Kaizer Chiefs, who has been signed by MLS side St Louis City to work with former Chiefs left-back Bradley Carnell.

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Middendorp gave Blom his PSL debut against Golden Arrows on 1 October 2019 when he was 19 years, nine months and 20 days old. It was the perfect entrance for Blom at FNB Stadium as Chiefs won 2-0 on that day.

Other players Middendorp has given chances are Fortune Makaringe, Siphesihle Ndlovu all at Maritzburg United, who were all unknown before, as well as Dumisani Zuma at Bloemfontein Celtic.

The former Chippa United coach also said Lebohang Maboe was another he signed at Mbombela United when he was at Maritzburg, claiming that he was “just an ordinary player”, but people don’t speak about this but only focused on trophies.

Since Middendorp arrived in Mzansi in 2005 at Chiefs in his first spell, he has won just two trophies – Absa Cup in the same season of 2005/06 and SAA Super 8 in the following term.

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Swallows is his seventh club he has been in charge of, with two stints at Chiefs, four with Maritzburg United, Golden Arrows, Bloemfontein Celtic, Chippa and Free State Stars.

“Let’s not talk about winning cups, or winning championships – let’s talk about contribution! how many players, talents from the beginning ,” he said.

“It doesn’t matter. If it is Bandile Shandu, Makaringe, Ndlovu, Dumisani Zuma and all were rejected by a number of coaches before and I got them into the right moment. Lebo Maboe was just an ordinary player at Mbombela on the side, playing little bit here and playing a little bit there, I picked him up.

“Immediately, he (Maboe) was aware of it (his talent) as I brought him into the central position (at Maritzburg). I can continue, I can tell you every year. I can tell you a number of players here and the number of players I have introduced to the highest level, in Ghana, in Germany – whenever I have been.”

Musa Nyatama, who will be his assistant coach at Swallows, was another he gave the chance at Maritzburg and iDiski Times learnt that he was helping him heavily when the former midfielder was the club’s caretaker coach.

He added: “In South Africa, to have this number of games as a foreign coach (the most games in charge by a foreigner in the PSL with 395 games), I think it speaks for itself.”

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Middendorp said these clubs who have kept on appointing him are not stupid – a word he usually used a lot when he’s angry, but still he doesn’t get the credit he deserves.

Middendorp, as foreign coach, is just one game ahead of coach Muhsin Ertugral, who was in charge of 394. With him now at Swallows, the 64-year-old is set to move clear ahead of the pack.

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