Head coach Henk ten Cate and his assistants Hennie Spijkerman and Alfons Groenendijk sigend their contracts with Ajax on Monday. Together with goalkeepers' trainer Fred Grim they are the new coaching staff of Ajax. ,,I start this job with a very good feeling'', said Ten Cate.
Henk ten Cate was very busy with FC Barcelona, the club with which coaches duo Rijkaard/Ten Cate captured the Spanish title and the Champions League, until last weekend. ,,Of course I know which players are in the Ajax squad, but I cannot provide an informed opinion about the team'', said the new Ajax coach. ,,I am first going to have talks about that with technical director Martin van Geel in the upcoming period.''
Ten Cate was clear about his goals for Ajax: ,,We have to play for the title until the last day of the season and we have to do that with attractive football.''
,,We strive to get a balanced team with lots of quality'', said Ten Cate after he had his picture taken with the other members of the coaching staff. ,,This way we show we're one'', said the new Ajax boss when he posed with Groenendijk, Spijkerman and Grim.
,,Ajax is great and important’’, said new assistant coach Hennie Spijkerman. ,,I am particularly looking forward to working with this staff. Everything looks good. Of course we hope that we will be successful with Ajax. It's all about meeting the expectations. In realising them, lies the challenge. This day is the beginning, with the first real day, on 3 July, as the next step.''
Spijkerman was head coach with VVV, Emmen and FC Zwolle. He will be an assistant at Ajax. ,,In the end, you want to work with the best players. I have no trouble being an assistant. It's all about the unity that Henk, myself and the other coaches will form. There is room enough to work well as an assistant coach.’’
Besides Spijkerman, Ten Cate has another assistant in Alfons Groenendijk. The former first-team player coached the A2 juniors at Ajax the past season. ,,This is a great new opportunity. It's nice to be asked'', said Groenendijk. ,,Being an assistant coach with Ajax 1 offers new challenges. Especially at this club. I did not expect this, it just happened. But I also really enjoyed working at the Ajax youth academy.''