Ex-Maritzburg United midfielder Noah Chivuta has explained his disagreements with Ernst Middendorp, which he says led to his early departure from the Pietermaritzburg outfit.
During his second stint with the Team of Choice in the 2009/10 season, the Zambian had a short-lived stay in KwaZulu-Natal, before leaving for Bethlehem to join Free State Stars after only one season.
“(Middendorp and I), we used to fight. I would go to the national team, maybe we play on a Sunday and come back on a Tuesday, then start training on a Wednesday. Straightaway he would tell me, ‘This game, you are not going to play.’ He had numbers, he had his starting 11, then number 12, number 13 and so on. And even the substitutions followed like that unless there was an injury,” explains Chivuta.
“If this one is not there, the number 13 goes in, if that one is not there the number 14 goes in and like that. I’m talking about my time (working with him), I don’t know if he still does that,” he said.
“I would come from the national team and he would tell me, ‘No, you are my number 13. If anything happens, I want you to come in to change the game for me.’ When things were not working he’d say, ‘Come, I know you can do it.’ Then you go and try your best. Going into a game it’s either you change it, or you keep it at the same level, or you drop the tempo of the game. (Under Middendorp) You go in and do well but it’s not like you’ve earned your place. His 11 will still start. So, at that time the way I saw it was like he had something about me. I didn’t understand very well what was happening. He was even the reason I left Durban to join Free State Stars,” the Thailand-based player explains.