Ajax will not continue with Heitinga as head coach next season
Ajax will not continue with John Heitinga as head coach. The 39-year-old Heitinga was appointed coach of the first team until the end of the season in late January, following the dismissal of Alfred Schreuder. He will also not be on the bench as an assistant at the Amsterdammers next season, according to director of soccer affairs Sven Mislintat.
Whether he will still be on the bench as an assistant at the Amsterdammers next season depends on the new coach Ajax will appoint.
Heitinga had to ensure better results for the ailing Ajax after Schreuder’s dismissal, and initially he succeeded quite well. After seven games without a win under Schreuder, the team managed to win the first seven premier league games under the new coach.
In between, however, things did go wrong in the Europa League: Ajax was ingloriously eliminated by Union Berlin in the intermediate round. In the premier league from mid-March onwards things also went downhill: after the 2-3 home defeat against Feyenoord and the 0-0 draw at Go Ahead Eagles, the national title was out of sight.
The KNVB Cup final against PSV was also lost and in the premier league Ajax finished third, meaning the Amsterdammers will not play Champions League next season.
‘On a personal level a tough decision’
Director of soccer affairs Mislintat says on the Ajax website, “This afternoon I informed John. On a personal level it was a tough decision and not easy to tell him. 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.”
“It was a difficult period,” German continued. “John has learned a lot in recent months and we would like to play a role in his further development and keep him connected to the club. But I have drawn the conclusion that Ajax now needs a more experienced coach in front of the group. For the phase we are in and for Ajax to perform better than last season, that is of great importance.”
So went the months with Heitinga at the helm at Ajax:
Heitinga’s four months as head coach of Ajax