Van Basten eyes trophies with Ajax

Van Basten eyes trophies with Ajax

Marco van Basten, John van ’t Schip and Rob Witschge were presented to the media as the new coaches of Ajax on Wednesday. The three, who will start next season in Amsterdam, are full of ambition.

,,We have a contract for four seasons. That gives us time and space, but we also want to achive something right away”, head coach Van Basten said in the press room of the ArenA on Wednesday. ,,We want to win trophies, compete for the championship. That's what Ajax are supposed to do.”

Van Basten is currently still the coach of Holland's national team and has to try and guide Holland to the European title in June. But he has also begun behind the scenes putting together his team. ,,Decisions have to be made about the squad for next season”, Van Basten said. ,,During negotiations with the club, we came to the agreement that we can make some acquisitions and we will. We too think the money should be on the pitch.” On the other hand, Van Basten and his assistants want to make sure the current stars of Ajax do not leave the club at the end of the season. ,,Of course, we will do everything we can to keep players such as John Heitinga and Klaas Jan Huntelaar with Ajax.”

Van Basten, Van ’t Schip and Witschge want to achieve immediate results with Ajax on a national level. But what about the European ambitions? ,,That is hard to say right now. It depends on what the team is going to look like. The focus is on the national title, but if we can stay in Europe after the winter, we are on the right track.”

Martin van Geel, who also announced that goalkeepers' trainer Carlo l'Ami and strength and conditioning trainer René Wormhoudt will stay with the first team, praised the new head coach. ,,We have had many talks together lately”, Van Geel said. ,,In those talks, it became clear that Marco is the ideal candidate to become the coach of Ajax. He knows what he wants and is a perfectionist. We also thought it was a good idea that he wanted to bring his assistants along. They are used to each other and complement each other well. That is nothing but good for Ajax.”

The criticism that Van Basten would have too little experience, was countered by the new coach himself and by Van Geel. ,,Michels, Cruijff and Van Gaal are the three most successful coaches of Ajax”, Van Basten said. ,,Michels came from the amateurs of JOS, Cruijff went on to become coach right after his playing career and Van Gaal had only been an assistant before he became Ajax's head coach. If you look at it that way, maybe we have too much experience.” Van Geel: ,,Don't forget that when these coaches start with Ajax, they have a World Cup and a European championship on their resume.”

Van Basten also said he hoped that after this presentation it will be quiet at Ajax for the next few weeks. ,,The team plays a very important match this weekend. It is vital that Adrie Koster and his squad can prepare in quiet. If Ajax defeat PSV, they are back in the championship race. That is very important, also for us as new coaches. Then you play Champions League and it will be more attractive to play for Ajax or to stay at Ajax.”