Ernst Middendorp raving about 20-year-old Liam Bern in fight for survival

Ernst Middendorp raving about 20-year-old Liam Bern in fight for survival

Cape Town Spurs coach Ernst Middendorp believes 20-year-old Liam Bern will be a key player in the club’s fight to retain their DStv Premiership status.

The midfielder produced a Man of the Match performance in their 2-0 win over TS Galaxy at the weekend, standing out in what was The Urban Warriors’ third win of the season so far as they battle to stay up.

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Middendorp raved about the youngster who’s already played 12 matches.

''Liam, I don't know if he is 20 or 21, our captain I don't know is he 20 or 23 - don't ask the age, I think it's important to see what these guys can contribute,'' said Middendorp.

The former Kaizer Chiefs mentor has since switched Bern from left back to defensive midfield, and adds that he made the call by observing the player’s personality.

''There's one big factor, what made it important for me to make the decision with Liam to have him in central defense - it has nothing to do with on the field or with ball, he has an unbelievable social competence, that means he is prepared to fight for his teammates and clean up,'' added Middendorp.

Middendorp says Spurs captain Chumani Butsaka also has similar attributes and compliments Bern in midfield.

''This combination with Chumani is similar, he also plays central but he has a little bit of an understanding and togetherness, at the right moments he is the one who supports. You need a player with his competence and social abilities,'' he concluded.

Since Middendorp took over at Spurs in November, the team’s average age has significantly dropped with the German trying to blend youth and experience – and the early signs are that it is paying off.

The Urban Warriors have managed two successive league victories after the AFCON break, although they were eliminated from the Nedbank Cup by AmaTuks two weeks ago.