Palmer takes over at Maritzburg

German Ernst Niddendorp has been replaced as coach of South African Premiership strugglers Maritzburg United by Ian Palmer, the club said today.

Palmer moves from mid-table second division club Blackburn Rovers and has just two days to prepare the team for a home league fixture against Platinum Stars in kwaZulu-Natal city Pietermaritzburg.

Maritzburg are three points above Moroka Swallows with six rounds left in a struggle to dodge finishing second last on the table and being dragged into promotion play-offs with three lower-league clubs.

Middendorp, 52, formerly coached leading South African club Kaizer Chiefs and Ghanaian giants Asante Kotoko and Hearts of Oak and has also worked in China, Cyprus, Iran and his native Germany.