Kadodia gives Middendorp his due

The Team of Choice came seventh in the Premiership, having only previously qualified for the MTN8 by placing eighth in 2014/15.

Middendorp earned praise for helping Maritzburg survive relegation last season but resigned in November 2016 after growing disillusioned with his working conditions in the PSL.

United then appointed Fadlu Davids as caretaker boss until Roger de Sa was hired earlier this year. However, the former Orlando Pirates coach quit the club after registering one win in seven matches in all competitions.

Maritzburg reverted to Davids, who was assisted by his brother Mahier, in February and he impressed again in the final stretch of the season, notably being named PSL Coach of the Month for April after picking up three wins from four games last month.

Kadodia has not forgotten that Middendorp signed and introduced many youngsters from the MultiChoice Diski Challenge team and played a mentoring role to the Davids siblings. 

"I think the important thing was the manner in which we planned our transformation of the youngsters in the team. It was the process of the last three years that we'll be building on that," Kadodia tells KickOff.com.

"And the MultiChoice Diski league gave us the platform to showcase these players and to give them exposure to PSL football, and that was the one side. The second part was that mentorship of Ernst Middendorp onto the Davids brothers, that was a huge factor. They really learnt a lot from Middendorp and tactically the hard work they put into football really gave the results. The fact that the two Davids brothers lost two games was a distinction of its own."

Kadodia is determined to build on the club's progress next season.

"Maritzburg United was never a relegation-battle team before. For whatever reason we were pushed down in the relegation," he said referring to last term.

"Basically, to continue with this, we have to be very astute in making sure that the club now becomes a consistent top-six team in the league. We'll do everything to make sure that the vision of the club is fulfilled with support to the technical team and the playing staff that we assemble a good team again.

"Obviously you got to be aware of all the challenges that we have in football; you know exactly football has its own challenges, we got to deal with these challenges. We also need to make sure that all the issues that normally create the bad image of the club are kept away, far from us that we don't have unnecessary issues coming around. I think with all that said, I firmly believe that we'll always assemble a good team, make the fans proud."

Maritzburg's Muslim owners will have their player awards ceremony late next month after celebrating Ramadan.

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