Some quick math shows that Frank de Boer has held about 500 press conferences in the past 5,5 years as Ajax’s coach. During his last moments with the media, he and press chief Miel Brinkhuis faced a large crowd of Chinese reporters.
Good news for all 17 players who are currently in China with Ajax. Everyone will get playing time in Wednesday’s friendly game against Liaoning Whowin. De Boer committed to this prior to the last training under his leadership. “They didn’t make this long trip for nothing. Everyone will play.”
Work in a major European competition
When asked if he sees a future for himself in China, Ajax’s departing coach answered: “Not right now. I would prefer to work for one of the major European leagues.” However, he did have one piece of advice for the Chinese clubs: “Give young talents a chance and make sure you have a good mix of experienced players.”
From Milan to Shenyang
His first press conference was at the end of 2010 in Milan. On the eve of the UEFA Champions League win against AC Milan in San Siro, this was his first day as Ajax’s coach. This press conference in Shenyang, China, was mostly about looking back on this period in time. And, just like he did in his debut in Italy, he would like to end with a win in China.
The lost championship match against De Graafschap will be the next-to-last one under De Boer in any case, for the record books. “It remains a shame that we did not end with a win”, said the 112 time international from behind a name sign covered with Chinese symbols. One and a half weeks after failing to win the national championship, the man who led Ajax to four championships said the following: “This match in China will be my last contribution. It will be the end of a great period with Ajax. I look back on this time with pleasure.”