Ernst reveals Chiefs’ ‘Derby-only’ player

Soweto Derby

Kaizer Chiefs coach Ernst Middendorp has discussed whether there is such a thing as a ‘Derby player’ who only performs when they play in the Soweto Derby.

It is a worldwide phenomenon that certain players are made for the big occasions – players who have the BMT to carry their team through the high-profile match single-handedly.

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However, in South Africa, there may be a totally different breed of a ‘big-match player’, which are those who tend to only raise their game for the blockbuster Soweto Derby.

It is difficult to identify exactly who these are, but Middendorp has since revealed that he distinctly remembers one such player – that being David Radebe, who spent five seasons at Amakhosi between 2002 and 2007.

“It’s definitely a very interesting subject for researching – the DNA, if it can be possible to identify if somebody is a player for the Derby,” said Middendorp.

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“I can give you an example, there was a player at Kaizer Chiefs in the past – there’s no doubt about it, his best performances were always in the Derby, do you know who? [David] Radebe.

“If you bring Radebe into the Derby, boom! He was [explosive]. If you bring him a week later against, whichever team, he sent his twin brother [to play]. He was totally [flat], really, it was like this.

“But if you come again to the Derby, it was out of the question; it was not really relevant if he was on the right track in training or how we played in the games before, but, ‘Radebe, you’re playing.’”

Scroll through the gallery above to relive some of Radebe's Derby moments...

Asked whether he has any such player in his current squad, the German responded: “Many.”

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