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Ernst Middendorp reveals he saw something special in Maritzburg United's Lebohang Maboe

Posted: 1 June 2017 Time: 19:05

Former Maritzburg United coach Ernst Middendorp says he saw something special in Lebohang Maboe and has no doubt the midfielder will enjoy great success in South African football.

Middendorp, who resigned from his post at Maritzburg in November last year, signed Maboe from National First Division side Mbombela United at the start of the season.

Maboe took a little time to settle at the club and was initially used in the MultiChoice Diski Challenge before he made his PSL debut in October last year against Free State Stars.

Once he got the feel for the PSL Maboe took his chances and was a revelation, especially under Roger de Sa who was appointed in Janaury before resigning in March, with former Bafana Bafana interim coach Owen da Gama suggesting he was close to a call-up for Bafana's friendly matches against Guinea Bissau and Angola.

The 22-year-old started 22 league matches this season and scored three league goals, playing every game overseen by interim coach Fadlu Davids as Maritzburg finished seventh on the Absa Premiership log.

Middendorp, who previously brought Siyabonga Nkosi from Bloemfontein Celtic to Kaizer Chiefs, delves into the process of recognising a special talent like Maboe.

"Identifying players is something you've got to see and you've got to know," the German mentor explains to KickOff.com.

"Selecting players is one aspect and everybody can do it based on their scoring consistency in the second division - everybody can do it.

"But recruiting and identifying potential that is not being used at the moment with the right coaching... that is the difficult part."

Meanwhile, Maboe expressed his gratitude towards the coach, now technical director at Thailand side Bangkok City, for giving him his break. 

"I really appreciate what he's done for me and I appreciate him bringing me to Maritzburg United because without him I wouldn't be where I am today," Maboe tells this website.

"I really do appreciate him. I'm still trying to find a way of thanking him and saying: 'you know what, thank you coach for the platform you gave it to me to express my talent'."

Article by: Robin-Duke Madlala
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