Kaizer Chiefs coach Ernst Middendorp has praised the quality shown by the players who are not usually in the Amakhosi starting XI after a weekend of exhibition matches allowed him to use his entire squad.
Chiefs impressed many with a comprehensive 4-2 win over Mamelodi Sundowns on Saturday in the Shell Helix Ultra Cup before losing 2-0 against Bloemfontein Celtic in the Macufe Cup just 24 hours later.
The games allowed Middendorp to test various combinations and players as a number of his first-team regulars were unavailable due to international commitments.
Speaking after the encounter against Downs, Middendorp admitted that he enjoyed watching the players who have not been making his starting XI and that they have given him something to think about.
‘Personally, I enjoy it very much that we have this number of players with certain quality, not only a so-called starting 11, 12 or 13, we’re developing it,’ said Middendorp.
‘In addition, “Teko” Sifama, who came in [as a second-half sub] is 16 years old – the one who nearly scored his first goal in the PSL [Ed: unofficially] – I think he can play U17 or something, but we’ve taken him in.
‘Sizwe Twala is a player whom I believe, if he gets the learning process on the side of Leonardo [Castro], Khama [Billiat], Samir [Nurkovic], just to mention some names – I haven’t even put Lazarous Kambole in – he will develop and probably during the season will be valuable for us.
‘We had a new combination in the centre of defence, and I don’t know what’s happening with Mathoho – I tried to get something from the coaches but still haven’t got it – we sent him even though he was injured.
‘So, probably he will come back on Monday, whatever. So, for us, it was important to have this left-footed Yagan and Daniel in the centre to get the understanding.’
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