André Ooijer has announced that he is to end his football career at the end of this season. The defender (37) has an expiring contract with Ajax.
Manager Frank de Boer’s response was very understanding: ,,It was not a surprise to us, because I speak with André regularly and even though he hadn’t come to his final decision yet, he had been leaning towards quitting the game for a while. It is an accumulation of his age and his position with Ajax, amongst other things. For those reasons we weren’t really counting on him for next season, although we will certainly miss him. André is important to the squad and to the technical staff as well. As far as I’m concerned, he is the team captain of the changing rooms. But by giving him that title, I am selling him short, because over the past weeks he has proven his worth for Ajax on the pitch again, as well.”
Amsterdam-born Ooijer adds: ,,I am proud to be able to say my goodbyes at the club where it all started for me. But I don’t feel like looking back yet. The coming nine matches are extremely important for Ajax and of course I want to say farewell to football in a fantastic way. And there is a chance of doing that. I will keep doing everything I can to contribute to that. I will look back some other time.”
Ooijer received his training at the Ajax Academy, after which he played for FC Volendam, Roda JC, PSV, the English Blackburn Rovers and then PSV again. The defender made his debut on Ajax’ first team in the league match Ajax - Roda JC (3-0) on 21 August 2010.