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Anorthosis get new German manager

SoccerNews in Bundesliga 7 May 2009

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Former Cyprus champions Anorthosis Famagusta have appointed German Ernst Middendorp as their new manager after failing to see eye-to-eye with fellow German Ewald Lienen.

Last month Anorthosis said they had reached an agreement with Lienen to take over from departed talisman leader Temuri Ketsbaia.

But on Thursday, the club unveiled 50-year-old Middendorp as their new manager and said he was expected on the island on Friday.

“The Anorthosis board at today?s meeting assessed the candidates for manager and came to a unanimous decision in appointing the German coach Ernst Middendorp for the 2009-10 season,” the club said.

It said the one-year contract could be renewed for an additional year.

Although the club has not publicly said why the Lienen deal fell through, it was widely reported that Anorthosis refused to wait any longer after the German asked for more time.

His countryman Middendorp has managed South Africa?s top team the Kaizer Chiefs and Arminia Bielefeld in the Bundesliga.

Ketsbaia resigned as manager of Anorthosis on April 13 for personal reasons but said it was in the “best interests” of the club.

The ex-Georgia and Newcastle player made history when Anorthosis became the first Cyprus team ever to reach the group stage of the Champions’ League, Europe’s premier competition.

Although they failed to qualify for the knock-out phase or even the UEFA Cup, the team remained unbeaten at home, beating Panathinaikos and holding both Inter Milan and Werder Bremen in games they could easily have won.

But apart from the Champions League achievement that put Cyprus football on the European map, Anorthosis have been disappointing on the domestic front this season.

They are set to finish in third place and ceded the title to rivals APOEL Nicosia.

Anorthosis’s season began to fall apart last November when their then chairman Andreas Panteli was arrested on embezzlement claims and later resigned.

Panteli had brought the former Newcastle player and Georgia international Ketsbaia to Anorthosis as they were close personal friends.

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