• Sports - Football - Gossips
  • Updated: June 01, 2023

Ajax Part Ways With Heitinga After Missing Out UCL Spot

Ajax Part Ways With Heitinga After Missing Out UCL Spot

John Heitinga

Ajax FC has announced that they will not be extending the contract of coach John Heitinga following a lacklustre 2022-23 season.

The decision comes after Ajax finished third in the league and failed to qualify for the prestigious UEFA Champions League for the first time in 14 years.

Heitinga, a former Dutch international and esteemed player, took charge of Ajax in January following the departure of Alfred Schreuder, who also took over after Erik ten Hag. Despite successfully elevating the team from fifth to third place in the league, the club has opted to bring in a more experienced tactician to guide them forward.

Ajax director of football, Sven Mislintat, expressed his gratitude towards Heitinga's contributions, stating, "John got on board to help the club in a difficult time, and he did that full of dedication. We are very grateful for that. He learned a lot in the last couple of months, and we would like to play a role in his development and keep him connected to the club. But I have concluded that Ajax needs a more experienced head coach."

The decision not to extend Heitinga's stay marks a difficult moment for the 39-year-old coach, who took his first role as the head coach of a senior team after previously working with the club's reserves. It is unclear at this time what role Heitinga may assume within the organization moving forward.

Furthermore, Ajax announced earlier this week that chief executive officer Edwin van der Sar will be stepping down from his post after what he described as "an incredibly tough period." These recent changes at the club signify a desire to regroup and recalibrate as they aim to regain their dominance in Dutch football.

In the recently concluded season, Feyenoord secured the Dutch league title, finishing 13 points ahead of Ajax.

PSV Eindhoven claimed the runners-up position and the second Champions League qualification spot. 

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