Fred Grim signed a new contract on Thursday. Ajax A1’s coach will remain with Ajax until July 1, 2014. “It’s an honour to be a coach with Ajax”, says the Amsterdam native with pleasure.
Fred Grim (Amsterdam, August 17, 1965) came to the selection for Ajax’s first team in 1984 via the JOS amateurs. He moved to Cambuur Leeuwarden for eight seasons in 1987. The keeper returned to Ajax in 1994, and retired from his active career in 2002.
Fred Grim was keeper for a total of 101 competition matches for Ajax. He played 125 official matches for Ajax. “We had a great season, we were champions, and won the cup”, the current coach remembers his last year as Ajax 1’s keeper. “It was hard to stop at that time. But it was at the peak, and I could move on with my coaching ambitions.”
Grim went to work as the keepers coach in the youth academy. He completed his Trainer/Coach 1 diploma in 2003. In July 2004, Grim coached Jong Ajax with John van den Brom. The coach left Ajax in 2007 to be assistant coach at Sparta Rotterdam and returned to Ajax in 2009 – armed with a professional football coach diploma.
The Amsterdam native has been responsible for the youth academy’s highest team since 2010. Last season, he gained valuable experience as the assistant for the Dutch national Under 19 team. “Ajax A1 is a fantastic team. You work on the team itself, but you let the players develop themselves individually. These guys have clear goals and work hard towards them. For me and the players, it was a challenging season with the NextGen Series, competition and cup. You need to find the right balance between work and rest. It’s not hard. I like structure and I know exactly where the peaks are in the season. You work towards that and keep taking it into account.”
The season can be crowned on Friday if they defeat Feyenoord/Excelsior in Rotterdam. The title will then be theirs: “A great game”, says Grim. “I’m expecting two teams who are well matched. At home we played 3-3; we scored the 3-2 goal in the last minute and then 3-3 in extra time.” Ajax A1 had played with ten men for half an hour.
On behalf of Ajax’s technical heart, Wim Jonk expresses his pleasure with Grim’s new contract. “Fred’s doing great. He has an eye for the individual within the team, and it very important for the youth academy.” The technical manager adds: “A1 is the youth academy’s flagship. Some guys get pulled into the first team at the last minute, and then go back to A1. That’s how it works at the highest level.”
Jonk continues: “Of course, a lot happens to a young player who experiences the dynamics surrounding the first team. Fred is a coach who prepares the players well for situations like this. That’s part of a player’s development. It’s good for Ajax that Fred Grim will be at the club for the next two years.”