Davids was roped into the Pirates technical setup a few weeks ago, after being show the door at Maritzburg United a few hours before Christmas last year.
The young tactician, speaking to Pirates TV, has opened up about how current Amakhosi boss Middendorp led him towards early retirement and kick-starting his coaching career seven years ago.
“In January 2012, I was still a player, and of course Ernst Middendorp had re-joined Maritzburg United at that time when I was the captain of the team,” reflected Davids.
“I had a bad injury on my ankle and was not quite fully recovered – playing at 90 percent. Of course, we had talks before and he knew that I wanted to go into coaching, but I didn’t think then would be the time that I retire.
“He then offered me the position, saying, ‘Look, let’s not think about the next two to three years of playing, but the next twenty to thirty years of coaching. And that was the start of my coaching career.”
The two will now become rivals as they prepare to come to blows in this Saturday’s Soweto Derby at the FNB Stadium, where kick-off is scheduled for 15h30.
However, speaking on his philosophy, the Cape Town-born former striker outlined his passion for attention to detail and helping players fulfil their potential.
“I’m a coach who puts the player first – it’s about the players and helping them improve; it’s about making them realise their potential because often a player doesn’t know what his limit is.
“He then limits himself in terms of what he can achieve and I’m that type of coach who analyses a player to see where and how he can improve and try and squeeze that last bit of potential out so he can fulfil his dreams.
“That’s what it’s about, if you focus on the individual and then the team, you ultimately get the best out of the player, and subsequently the best out of the team.”
Davids also believes there is still plenty to come from the current crop of players, who he is determined to help bring success to the club.
“The Pirates squad is a very good one that we have here, but the most promising thing is the potential of the squad – I don’t think we’ve reached even close to our potential,” he added.
“And it’s our job as coaches to help the squad realise its potential and get the best out of each player [for them] to contribute towards ultimately earning success [for the team].”