ABSA Premiership Coaches of the Season So Far
As you may know, three nominees are chosen for the ABSA Premiership Coach of the Season award at the end of each season. At this stage of the season, three coaches have impressed and led their teams remarkably. Steve Barker, Eric Tinkler, and Ernst Middendorp.
All of these three coaches have different goals and objectives with their respective clubs. Each coach's achievements are significant, especially when you look at how far each team has come since the previous season. Stellies, promoted after winning the NFD Championship, is currently 8th of the table and seven points clear of the relegation zone. Barker has done a phenomenal job with this side, having a good balance of youth and experience in the side.
Maritzburg finished 15th last season and had to compete in the promotion-relegation playoff to keep their place in the ABSA Premiership. They won all their matches, and have carried that momentum into the current season. Maritzburg currently has the third-best defensive record in the league, with 15 goals conceded. They also reached the Telkom Knockout final, losing out to Sundowns.
But undoubtedly the coach of the season so far, Ernst Middendorp. Chiefs finished outside the top 8 last season, for the first time since the 2006/2007 season. This season has seen a triumphant return to glory for Amakhosi as they are currently 10 points clear of defending champions Mamelodi Sundowns at the top of the table and look set to secure their first title in 5 seasons.