Ajax drops John Heitinga, hunts for more experienced coach

Heitinga in the Ajax dug-out earlier this year. Photo: Vincent Jannink ANP

Amsterdam football club Ajax is on the hunt for a new head coach after deciding not to continue with John Heitinga in the role.

Heitinga was appointed at the end of January to replace Alfred Schreuder who was sacked following a string of poor results. As yet, it is unclear if he will remain at the club as assistant because it will be up to the new trainer to pick his own team.

Football affairs chief Sven Mislintat said on the club website that it had been a difficult decision to take. “John stepped in at a difficult time to help the club and he did so with full conviction. We are very grateful to him for that,” he said.

“However, I have concluded that we need a more experienced coach for the squad,” he said. “That is of great importance in ensuring Ajax performs better than in the past season, and for the position we are currently in.”

Earlier this week, Ajax general manager Edwin van der Sar stepped down, saying he had “had it” citing the “incredibly difficult period” the club had gone through.

Ajax finished third in the league, the club’s lowest position since 2009 and so failed to qualify for the Champions League next season.

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