Ward not technical director Ajax; new chapter in arduous search Van der Sar

Ward not technical director Ajax; new chapter in arduous search Van der Sar

NOS Soccer

  • Sam Porskamp

    Follows Ajax on behalf of NOS Sport

  • Sam Porskamp

    Follows Ajax on behalf of NOS Sport

Ajax and Van der Sar do not want to comment on that news for now.

Ward, currently working for Liverpool, was in advanced negotiations with Ajax. What exactly broke down is not clear, but the fact is that the need for Van der Sar – whose performance is increasingly coming under a magnifying glass after yet another failed attempt – to urgently move on to a new technical director is great.

After all, the new director must look for a coach for next year – John Heitinga has been appointed until the end of the season – and also get to work on the composition of the selection, which is currently unbalanced.

Difficult search

The dash for Ward’s arrival is another chapter in the arduous search for a technical director. Since the departure of Marc Overmars almost fourteen months ago, Ajax has been scouring for the suitable candidate for one of the most important positions at the soccer club.

The management and supervisory board (rvc) saw several attempts fail recently.

Alex Kroes was the first name mentioned emphatically a year ago. The rvc saw in the then owner of Go Ahead Eagles the ideal successor to the departed Overmars and started talks with him. After the now-fired coach Alfred Schreuder was appointed without Kroes’ knowledge, he thanked for the honor.

Other attempts to appoint a technical director also came to nothing, so Ajax opted for a polder model last summer. Technical manager Gerry Hamstra was passed on and allowed to determine the technical policy with Klaas Jan Huntelaar, who was already being trained internally to succeed Overmars, in consultation with Van der Sar.

Turbulent season

Meanwhile, Ajax experienced a disappointing and tumultuous season. The reigning national champion was ingloriously eliminated in the Champions League and failed to win seven consecutive matches in the premier league during the winter months. Schreuder was fired, along with his assistant Matthias Kaltenbach.

Under his successor Heitinga, Ajax picked up somewhat, but even the new coach could not prevent the Amsterdammers from being eliminated in the Europa League by Union Berlin and from being held to six points in the premier league by leaders Feyenoord two weeks ago.

Van der Sar indicated in early February on soccer talk show Rondo, in one of his sparse interviews, that he was critical of his own performance. “It has been tremendously tough. I have had to deal with all kinds of aspects that I didn’t think I would have to deal with. In any case, I don’t give myself a passing grade.”

Immediately after the dismissal of Alfred Schreuder, Van der Sar spoke of a power vacuum at Ajax.

Director Van der Sar: ‘We are in a vacuum at Ajax’

One such aspect was the appointment of Heitinga to finish the season, but the new technical director will have to determine whether he will also be Ajax’s trainer next season. So the pressure is mounting on Van der Sar’s quest, a quest that for now is focused primarily abroad.

Is Ajax talking to German Mislintat?

Indeed, Ajax wants a director with a large international network who is familiar with closing large transfers. According to De Telegraaf, Ajax has now set its sights on Sven Mislintat. The 50-year-old German is currently without a club following his departure in late November from VfB Stuttgart and is reportedly already in talks with Ajax.

Kayleigh Williams