Signing Martin Jol as the new Ajax coach has met with approval from captain Thomas Vermaelen, who responded from Japan to the appointment of the new coach from Scheveningen.
Ajax players Vermaelen and Toby Alderweireld are in Japan with the Belgian national team for the Kirin Cup. For Belgium the triangle tournament will start on 29 May, when the Red Devils will play Chile. Two days later our southern neighbours will line up against host country Japan, which won the first match against Chile by 4-0.
Vermaelen was on his way to Japan with the Belgian team when Martin Jol’s appointment as the new Ajax coach was announced. “I was on the plane when I got all these messages from the Ajax team manager, fellow players, friends and acquaintances saying that Martin Jol was to be the new Ajax coach. I think his joining Ajax will be very positive for the club. Jol has quite a reputation; he has great standing in the soccer world. That is very good for us."
In the summer of 2004 Ajax loaned out Thomas Vermaelen to RKC Waalwijk. Jol had just left by then. ,,At that time I already heard positive things about him from the players. He can bring out the best in players and relates to them very well. Of course, personally, I don’t know much about him, because I’ve never worked with him. The future will show whether this has been a good choice. Ajax is not an easy club to run, but Jol has a great reputation and I have faith in him. The targets will be the same. We want to play for the championship as well as on a European level."
Does Vermaelen have any tips for his new coach? ,,That’s hard to say. He will just have to do what he does best. In the past that has proved successful, so he should just continue doing that."
Photo: Pro Shots/Dennis Spaan