02 Feb 2023 at 20:12
John Heitinga glows with pride because of his appointment as trainer of Ajax. “I think I have the Ajax DNA and hopefully I can translate that to the group,” says the former defender, who realizes that only the national title counts in the capital.
After the dismissal of Alfred Schreuder, Heitinga was promoted from Jong Ajax to the first team. Under his leadership, Ajax won 1-4 at Excelsior on Sunday. On Thursday, the club announced that the 87-time international will be in front of the group for the rest of the season.
Heitinga is delighted with it. “I’m really looking forward to it and I hope that I will enjoy it with my staff,” he says on the club site. “I think I have the Ajax DNA and hopefully I can translate that to the group.”
The 39-year-old coach did not have to think long when he was asked to finish the season. “Of course I didn’t know if and when I got the chance. The only thing I could do is prepare myself well.”
‘Glad that an experienced man is standing next to me’
In his new role he is assisted by assistant Dwight Lodeweges. “It is important that there is an experienced man standing next to me,” says Heitinga, who was allowed to help decide on this appointment. “We have had conversations and looked at what is needed. My pitfalls have been asked. I have to run into that first. The only thing I know: I want to win everything.”
Heitinga also knows how he wants to achieve this. “That is with an attacking style of play, with risk and creating many opportunities. That is part of Ajax. I think I have the Ajax DNA and hopefully I can translate that to the group, so that we can see it on the fields.”
Ajax will visit Cambuur in the Eredivisie on Sunday. “The most important thing is that we get color on the cheeks and take the three points to Amsterdam,” concludes Heitinga. “We know that Ajax is only about one thing: becoming champion.”
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