Ajax played a friendly at v.v. Hierden on Tuesday. Not the eventual 1-10 win mattered, more important was the farewell of a number of players and coaches. Danny Blind, and his assistants Gerard van der Lem and Ruud Krol coached their last match from the Ajax bench. Hans Vonk, Steven Pienaar, Yannis Anastasiou and Nourdin Boukhari played their last match for the club.
The inevitable ending. Ajax careers were closed off this Tuesday. The end of years in which the players grew to be real Ajax players.
Hans Vonk was one of the players for whom it was the last Ajax match. The goalkeeper gave away his gloves to a supporter. How symbolic. But although the reliable goalie goes far away (South Africa), he will also remain close to the club. ,,Because I am going to Ajax Cape Town, I don't really get the feeling that it's all over now. I remain tied to the club.'' Vonk played his last match for Ajax Amsterdam, but the Cup final win against PSV and the following festivities were the real ending for the goalkeeper. ,,Even though I did not play in the Cup final, if there was a farewell moment, it was that match. The celebration in Amsterdam was great. Matches like these, against amateurs, to finish the season, I've been through before. At sc Heerenveen, we did it all the time. For me, these matches are not so much fun. The only special thing about this one was that is was really the last one for this team.''
Nourdin Boukhari will stay a little closer to home. The midfielder will wear the uniform of French side Nantes next season. ,,I have done all I could to finish it well'', said Boukhari, who closed off his Ajax years with a goal and the captain's band around his arm. ,,Now I am going to enjoy my holiday en then I'm off to France!''
The coaches Blind, Krol and Van der Lem spoke a few personal words to their players in the privacy of the dressing room.
In the first half (1-6) left winger Nicolae Mitea scored a hattrick. After striker William van den Hul had scored the home side's only goal, Javier Martina and Yannis Anastasiou widened the margin. The Greek striker scored twice in his last match as an Ajax player. After halftime, subs Rydell Poepon and Derk Boerrigter scored. The 1-10 was an own goal.
,,Difficult to definitively close off my Ajax period’’, said Steven Pienaar. ,,To be honest, I would rather have said farewell in the ArenA. I am taking a holiday in the next four weeks, I can use one, too. Maybe I'll use that month to reflect on all those Ajax years.''