Cape Town Spurs: Ernst Middendorp voices concerns over player readiness

Cape Town Spurs’ recent 3-0 defeat against DStv Premiership champions Mamelodi Sundowns has sparked concerns about the team’s readiness for top-flight football.

Head coach Ernst Middendorp, known for nurturing young talent, candidly acknowledged that some players in the squad might not be adequately prepared for the demanding Premier Soccer League (PSL).

The Urban Warriors, experiencing their 11th league setback and third under Middendorp, showcased their struggles, having secured only one victory this season against Orlando Pirates in a 2-1 win at DHL Stadium a month ago.

Known for nurturing young talent, Middendorp emphasized the need to guide the club’s abundant youthful potential. Contrary to the belief that Spurs are dominated by seasoned players, he pointed out the likes of Asanele Velebayi, Chumani Butsaka, and Morne Nel, asserting, “These are not old legs.”

The coach stressed the importance of preparation and physical prowess, citing examples of successful young players he introduced in previous teams. Middendorp highlighted Thapelo Morena, Rushine de Reuck and Lebohang Maboe as players he brought in as youths and nurtured to success.

Addressing the broader issue, Middendorp discussed the need for players to not only possess talent but also to be physically prepared for the rigours of the Premier Soccer League (PSL). He emphasized that professionalism extends beyond skill and includes dedication to physical fitness.

Reflecting on the recent defeat, Middendorp admitted, “A number of players are not really prepared for the PSL in the moment; we have to be honest.” He highlighted the challenges faced in stopping skilled players like Maboe, Bongani Zungu, and Sipho Mbule, emphasizing the necessity for physical strength and individual prowess.