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Kaizer Chiefs

Middendorp expects Kaizer Chiefs' new signings to hit the ground running

15:56 GMT+3 17/07/2019
Ernst Middendorp, Kaizer Chiefs, January 2019
The German tactician is satisfied with Amakhosi's preparations as they look to end their four-year trophy drought in the new term

Kaizer Chiefs head coach Ernst Middendorp has opened up about their pre-season preparations ahead of the new 2019/20 campaign.

The Soweto giants are without some of their key players, who were at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations finals in Egypt.

“I am quite satisfied with how our pre-season camp is going so far given the circumstances we find ourselves in with some of our key players missing due to their country duty in the Afcon tournament,” Middendorp told the club website.

“We are not complaining but it is a challenge for us preparing for the new season without some of the guys. For instance, we needed Daniel Cardoso and ‘Rama’ Mphahlele today, because we were working on our defensive work.

“We have been working hard for the past few days and I’m happy with the response from some of the players. It is good that we do not have any serious injuries and some of the guys who were injured last season are on their way back to full recovery."

Khama Billiat is the only international player who is back in the team as Zimbabwe were knocked out in the first round of the Afcon finals, while his fellow countryman Teenage Hadebe has moved to Turkey.

Cardoso, Mphahlele and Bruce Bvuma were part of the Bafana Bafana team that was eliminated in the quarter-finals and Andriamirado 'Dax' Andrianarimanana's Madagascar also bowed out in the last eight.

Furthermore, Chiefs goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi and his Nigeria team-mates are scheduled to face Tunisia in the third-place play-off encounter on Wednesday night.

“We have been keeping in touch with the technical and medical teams of the various national teams to check on our players and so far, there are no injury worries. We hope more players will join us as the week progresses and will be with us when we travel to Botswana on Friday,” the coach continued.

Chiefs will face Botswana Premier League giants Township Rollers in a friendly match on Saturday in Tlokweng and Middendorp explained they are busy integrating new players into the team.

“The four new guys have been working hard and we believe they will adapt quickly to our system and hit the ground running because we don’t have much time," he said.

“We have been working on the players’ mental strength and teamwork which will see them communicate better in all departments."

Amakhosi have signed strikers Samir Nurkovic and Lazarous Kambole and midfielders James Kotei and Kearyn Baccus.