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SA SOCCER NEWS
Middendorp favoured for Pirates 01/07/04
Orlando Pirates are expected to employ German Ernst Middendorp as their first-team coach for the new season.

Middendorp has been linked to the Buccaneers for nearly two years now and the former Ghana Asante Kotoko coach is finally expected to take up the vacant coaching post at the 1995 African Champions League winners.

His predecessor, Zimbabwean Roy Barreto departed the club about six months ago when he joined First Division side Free State Stars via Castle Premiership side Manning Rangers.

Augusto Palacios acted as caretaker-coach following Barreto's departure and will return to Pirates' development programme once a new coach is announced.

Club boss Irving Khoza is expected to unveil the new coach before the end of the week. The new arrival will have little time to prepare his side for their Confederation Cup clash with Sable de Batie of Cameroon on July 9.

Pirates also host Democratic Republic of Congo side during the Vodacom Challenge in Mmabatho on July 11.

Moroka Swallows coach Gavin Hunt has also been linked to the club, but Pirates will have to pay a hefty sum to acquire his services after he signed a new two-year last year.

The Birds coach earlier denied a move to the Buccaneers.

"I am not moving at this stage of my career. There have been rumours and media speculation about Pirates but at present I have committed myself to Swallows."

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