Mitchell van de Gaag has been appointed as the coach for the Ajax Reserves. The trainer succeeds Michael Reiziger, whose contract ended this season. Van de Gaag has signed a contract which takes effect on July 1, 2019 for two years, until June 30, 2021.
Van de Gaag: “Naturally, I’m very happy with my appointment. It’s a fantastic challenge to work with the best talent in the country. Ajax is a top club, and its achievements in the last year have only reinforced this. It has gotten everyone’s attention here in Portugal. I’m very much looking forward to getting started, to build a bridge to the first team together with the players, and of course, achieve great things in the Keuken Kampioen Divisie.
'It’s a fantastic challenge to work with the best talent in the country'
Marc Overmars: “It’s great to have clarity so quickly. In Mitchell, we’ve found a coach who can give good leadership to our reserves team. In the past three years, he’s been a coach in the Eredivisie. In addition to that, he has coaching experience in the First Division and in a competition abroad. In our reserves team, the flow of players from the oldest academy teams into the Ajax Reserves is very important. And from there, the stream of players into the A selection needs to happen. Mitchell will play an important role in that process, which is what we expect from Ajax Reserves coaches. In him, we’ve found the right person for that.”
Experience in Netherlands and abroad
Van de Gaag began his coaching career in Portugal in 2006, at his former club, Maritímo Funchal. In May 2012, he signed on for three years as head coach as Belenenses in Lisbon, where he won the Portuguese second division championship. In February 2015, the 47 year-old Zutphen native was appointed to Ermis Aradippou in Cypres, after which he returned to the Netherlands.
In 2015-2016, Van der Gaag was the coach at FC Eindhoven, where he won a period title. On June 1, 2016, he signed a contract for two seasons at Excelsior, which was debut as a coach in the Eredivisie. The team played at the highest level for two seasons with him. The former player from, chronologically, PSV, NEC, Sparta, Motherwell FC, FC Utrecht, Marítimo Funchal and Al Nassr was head coach at NAC Breda last season until mid-March.