Did Ernst end Richards' Chiefs career?


In a Flashback Friday special, former Kaizer Chiefs midfielder Rene Richards opens up about why he had such a short career at Naturena.

Richards was among the top youngsters who were tipped for great things during his days at Chiefs in the early 2000s under the guidance of Muhsin Ertugral.

He played in Ertugral's 'Operation Vat Alles' side that won the African Cup Winners' Cup in 2001 and also contributed to the team that won back-to-back Premiership titles with the late Ted Dumitru.

READ: What Rene Richards is up to today

Catching up with KickOff.com, the Durban-born former Amakhosi star shares the memories he has of both coaches.

"With Muhsin Ertugral and Ted I think I was playing good football at Chiefs. I had a lot of opportunities as well to be playing because I came as an 18-year-old from a first division team," says Richards.

"So to come to one of the biggest teams in Africa, I think I've done myself proud and also put my talent out there. I stayed at the club for five years and I think I did a little contribution to the team.

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"I was thrown in the water at 18 years because we played I think Zamalek in my first game. I came on as a sub for 15 to 20 minutes in that game and almost scored, so I think that's when people started noticing the talent in me."

When Ernst Middendorp arrived at Chiefs for his first spell in 2005 he made changes that were not welcomed by many at the club, including benching the likes of the late Scara Ngobese and David Radebe.

READ: Radebe: Why Muhsin forced me out of Chiefs

Richards also fell out of favour and was then loaned out to Bidvest Wits for the last few years of his career before he retired in 2012 to focus more on his passion for development.

He says that in his case it was not a personal thing with the German coach, even though he can't say they were close.

"I think when they [Muhsin and Ted] left it was a matter of a new coach working with his new system and we had a pretty okay relationship between Ernst Middendorp and myself," he concludes.

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