Traveler hoped for Ajax head coach: ‘I would have expected that conversation somewhere’

Michael Reiziger has decided to leave Ajax after six years. John Heitinga’s assistant wants to continue his career as head coach and was disappointed when the choice of the team from Amsterdam did not fall on him after Alfred Schreuder’s dismissal.

The choice to leave Ajax after six years was made by Reiziger himself. “With the choice of John Heitinga, the club also indicates something, but I had already decided for myself this season that the answer to another contract as an assistant would be “no”, he says in conversation with the General Journal. In conversations with people close to me and other clubs, the feeling of managing a first team on my own two feet was also reinforced. It feels a bit like the last year of primary school, when you also think: it’s time for a step higher.’

After this, the former defender is asked whether a job as head coach at Ajax was not possible. ‘After Alfred’s dismissal they did share the plans, but that didn’t lead to a conversation about my ambitions. Not even when Erik ten Hag left. I kind of expected that conversation’, Reiziger is honest. “I have been here for a long time and know the team best. Of course I always had conversations with Marc Overmars. We were also not in the most stable period at the club.’

‘I had a good conversation with John’

After the dismissal of Schreuder, Reiziger was interested in the position of person with ultimate responsibility, but the choice of the club fell on Heitinga. “I felt ready for that. I also had a good conversation with John about that. He knew about my ambition. I said: they’ve chosen you now, I’m a bit angry, but together we’re going to try to get it back on track.’

The question of which club will be the next step for Reiziger is not left out. ‘In my time next to Ten Hag, I was approached by a few premier league clubs, but then I didn’t feel the need. Now I’m striving for it, but I’m not pinning myself down to the Eredivisie. I also find Belgium interesting and I think the English Championship is a great competition. The battle, the stadiums, the passion of the people. Everything for football. Options from the Middle East and Asia have also passed by. I am very curious what will come my way in the coming months, in which we still want to take the double.’

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