AMSTERDAM (AP) — Ajax confirmed former Netherlands international John Heitinga as the coach on Thursday after Alfred Schreuder was fired last week.
Heitinga, 39, is a product of the storied Ajax youth academy who went on to play for the Amsterdam club as a defender before moving on to Atletico Madrid, Everton, Fulham and Hertha Berlin. He has been coach of Young Ajax, the club’s second team, since the start of this season.
Heitinga will be the coach “at least” for the rest of the season, Ajax said. Financial terms were not disclosed.
He was the interim coach last weekend when Ajax ended its seven-game winless streak by beating Excelsior Rotterdam 4-1 to move to fourth in the Eredivisie, five points behind leader Feyenoord.
“We have a lot of confidence in John’s qualities and the vision he expressed” in talks with club leaders, Ajax director Edwin van der Sar said.
Heitinga played 87 internationals for the Netherlands, including the 2010 World Cup final in Johannesburg, where he was sent off in extra time. The Dutch lost to Spain 1-0.
Schreuder was fired just half a season after taking over the reins when Erik ten Hag left to join Manchester United.
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