The agreement between Arminia Bielefeld and Maritzburg United will see the two sides share knowledge on coaching and youth development. - © Thomas F. Starke/Getty Images
The agreement between Arminia Bielefeld and Maritzburg United will see the two sides share knowledge on coaching and youth development. - © Thomas F. Starke/Getty Images
bundesliga

Arminia Bielefeld sign partnership with South Africa side Maritzburg United

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Arminia Bielefeld have partnered with South Africa top-flight team Maritzburg United in an agreement that will see the Bundesliga outfit exchange knowledge with their counterparts from Pietermaritzburg.

The partnership will initially allow the two teams to host digital training sessions as they exchange knowledge in coaching and youth development.

It strengthens Bielefeld's relationship with the country, one that has seen South Africa internationals Delron Buckley, Rowen Fernandez, Siyabonga Nkosi and Sibusiso Zuma all represent the club previously.

Both Buckley and Fernandez are now on the Maritzburg coaching staff, working under former Bielefeld coach Ernst Middendorp, who took charge of 246 games across three different stints at the SchücoArena.

"For us, this cooperation is the first step towards connecting Arminia Bielefeld internationally with people who love football," said Bielfeld vice-president Maurice Eschweiler on the partnership that informally began last year between the Bundesliga side and their Premiere Soccer League colleagues from South Africa.

"Despite the great distance and the difficult situation caused by the worldwide Corona pandemic, we've already been able to make a lot of difference with various campaigns and bring a lot of joy to the children and young people in South Africa, train young talents and coaches in this football-mad country."

Finn Holsing, head of Bielefeld's academy, added: "Last year, we experienced how great the enthusiasm and joy were when we were able to share and further develop our ideas and concepts of football and youth development.

"This exchange on a sporting, cultural and especially human level is a great opportunity for all involved and will certainly produce many moments and experiences of great value. We are very much looking forward to what we will experience and move together in the coming months."