Ajax announce Maurice Steijn as their new head coach

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Photo Credit: Ajax

Ajax have announced the appointment of Maurice Steijn as their new head coach. The news comes after a disappointing season for the Eredivisie club, which saw them fail to qualify for the Champions League for the first time in 13 seasons.

Steijn, who has signed a three-year contract with Ajax, is set to replace John Heitinga, whose contract was not extended following the club’s third-place finish in the Dutch Eredivisie. The 49-year-old coach is joining from Sparta Rotterdam, where he led the team to a surprising sixth-place finish last season, securing a spot in the European football play-off.

Steijn’s appointment is seen as a significant step up in his career, having previously coached Dutch clubs ADO The Hague, VVV-Venlo, NAC Breda, and Sparta, as well as Al-Wahda in the United Arab Emirates. Ajax Director of Football, Sven Mislintat, praised Steijn’s track record, stating, “At all the clubs he worked for, results exceeded expectations. He has shown multiple times with his teams that he is a real overperformer. He is ready for a step up, I’m sure of that.”

As part of the new setup, Said Bakkati has joined as an assistant, and Max Lesser arrives from Stuttgart as head of analysis. The search for another assistant coach to support Steijn is still ongoing.

The first players will report at Sportpark de Toekomst at the end of June, marking the beginning of the preparation for the new season under Steijn’s leadership. The financial details of the deal have not been disclosed.

This news comes after a series of changes in the Ajax coaching staff. Heitinga had replaced Alfred Schreuder, who himself had replaced Erik ten Hag but was fired in January after only half a season at the Dutch powerhouse following a string of seven matches without a victory.

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