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Ernst Middendorp (born October 28, 1958 in Freren) is a German football manager who is the Football Coach of the Premier Soccer League club, Kaizer chiefs F. C..

Ernst Middendorp
Ernst Middendorp 20180316.jpg
Personal information
Full name Ernst Johannes Middendorp
Date of birth (1958-10-28) October 28, 1958 (age 60)
Place of birth Freren, Germany
Club information
Current team
Kaizer Chiefs (manager)
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1977–1981 SG Freren 85 (72)
1981–1982 TuS Lingen 17 (6)
1982–1985 VfB Rheine 91 (83)
1985–1987 VfB Alstätte 42 (37)
Total 235 (198)
Teams managed
1987–1988 Eintracht Nordhorn
1988–1990 Arminia Bielefeld
1990–1992 VfB Rheine
1992–1994 FC Gütersloh
1994–1998 Arminia Bielefeld
1999 KFC Uerdingen 05
1999 VfL Bochum
1999–2002 Asante Kotoko
2002–2003 FC Augsburg
2004 Hearts of Oak SC
2004–2005 Tractor Sazi
2005–2007 Kaizer Chiefs
2007 Arminia Bielefeld
2008–2009 Changchun Yatai
2009 Rot-Weiss Essen
2009 Anorthosis Famagusta
2009–2011 Maritzburg United
2011 Golden Arrows
2012–2013 Maritzburg United
2013–2014 Bloemfontein Celtic
2015–2016 Chippa United
2018– Kaizer Chiefs
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only



In 1984, Middendorp enrolled in the University of Bielefeld, Germany, where he graduated in 1986 with a degree in economics, politics, and history. After graduating, in 1987, he took computer courses at two institutions: the Gesamthochschule Paderborn Institute in Germany, where he earned a degree in special economics, computer studies; and at the Computer College Rheine, Germany, where he studied becoming a system analyst. In 1996, he attained his UEFA Pro License (Fussball-Lehrer) from the Deutsche Sporthochschule in Köln, Germany. In 2000, he began studying communication and management at PR Kolleg Berlin, Germany, where he studied through 2002.


Middendorp has coached professional football on the highest level for nearly 20 years in Europe, Asia and Africa, having a UEFA Pro License (Fussball-Lehrer) from the German Football Association. In addition, Middendorp has experience analyzing FIFA world cup tournaments (2006 and 2010), as well as the EURO tournament in 2012.

Middendorp started his professional coaching career in August 1994 taking over as the head coach of DSC Arminia Bielefeld in the 3rd Bundesliga. During his tenure, the club was promoted to the Bundesliga in 1996. In 2005, when Arminia Bielefeld was celebrating its 100th anniversary, Middendorp was elected their "Coach of the Century".

Middendorp coached the South African Castle Premiership team Kaizer Chiefs from the beginning of the 2005–06 season up to March 5, 2007. At the start of the 2006–07 season, Middendorp guided his team to the SAA Supa 8 trophy. The Kaizer Chiefs defeated Supersport United in the final.

On March 14, 2007, he started his third stint as a coach at Arminia Bielefeld, but was fired by club management on December 10, 2007. From there he went to coach the Chinese club, Changchun Yatai, but left the club in December 2008 and returned to Germany,[citation needed] where he signed a contract with Rot Weiss Essen On 6 April 2009.[citation needed] He left the team after just 29 days.[citation needed] Later that year, he joined the Cypriot Club, Anorthosis Famagusta,[citation needed] but was fired on the 25 of July following their elimination in the second round of the UEFA Europa League.[citation needed] On 16 November 2009 he replaced Gordon Igesund as head coach of Maritzburg United,[1] his second coaching job in South Africa.[citation needed]

On 18 January 2012 Middendorp returned to Maritzburg United after a brief stint with South African club, the Golden Arrows.[2] He resigned as head coach of Maritzburg United on 10 October 2013,[3] before joining Bloemfontein Celtic as head coach on 11 October 2013.[4] He managed the Eastern Province SA Premier League team Chippa United from 5 January to 30 March 2015.[5]

In the 2015/2016 season Ernst led not one but two South African Premier League teams from the relegation position to safety. He took Free State Stars from position 16 at the bottom of the log to position 10 within four months, averaging two points a game. In January 2016 Ernst returned to Maritzburg United (a club he coached twice before) who were then in position 16 and facing the stark danger of relegating. Ernst and his team narrowed the gap until the final nail-biting game of the season when Maritzburg United moved to the safety of position 14.[6]

Middendorp has been the mentor of Fadlu Davids, who spent much of his time learning the coaching trade as assistant coach to Middendorp: at Maritzburg, Bloemfontein Celtic and Chippa United.[7]


  1. ^ Team of Choice unveil Middendorp as New Head Coach
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Middendorp dumps Maritzburg". SuperSport. Retrieved 10 October 2013.
  4. ^ "Middendorp joins Celtic". KickOff. Retrieved 11 October 2013.
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Coaching". Ernst Middendorp | Official Site. Retrieved 2016-12-26.
  7. ^ "Fadlu Davids on Maritzburg bench opposite mentor Ernst Middendorp". Kick Off. Retrieved 2016-12-26.

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