Ajax Cape Town appoint Dutch coach Andries Ulderink

29 November 2018 - 16:29
By Nick Said
Ajax Cape Town chief executive Ari Efstathiou (R) presents the new Urban Warriors head coach Andries Ulderink (L) on November 29 2018.
Image: Ajax Cape Town/Twitter Ajax Cape Town chief executive Ari Efstathiou (R) presents the new Urban Warriors head coach Andries Ulderink (L) on November 29 2018.

Ajax Cape Town have appointed Dutch coach Andries Ulderink as they seek to turnaround their form and get back on track for a promotion push in the National First Division (NFD).

Ulderink worked at parent club Ajax Amsterdam from 2013 to 2016 and was also assistant coach to former Dutch international Jaap Stam at English Championship side Reading.

He has come recommended by the Amsterdam outfit after Muhsin Ertugral resigned earlier this month following a string of poor results.

“Firstly‚ I am very happy to be here. The decision to accept the job was very quick‚ within five or six days‚” Ulderink said.

“I was very interested in the job‚ I’ve always had an interest in Ajax Cape Town during my time as a youth coach of Jong Ajax.

"It will not be an easy assignment because I will have to learn about an entire squad in a few days‚ the schedule is very compact and I have to try get results and learn about the squad in a very short amount of time.

“The philosophy I will follow is one from myself with the foundation of Ajax Amsterdam keeping in mind each head coach has a different style of the Ajax philosophy‚ I must find what works for the players we have and for the league that the squad is playing in.

“The results in the last two years have not been good and this can change the atmosphere of any club‚ so it’s very important for me to work on the positive attitude.

"It’s important for the fans and the people that work for the club to feel positive about the way we play.”

Ulderink will have to hit the ground running with the club involved in a Nedbank Cup preliminary round clash at TS Galaxy on Sunday.

“There are a lot of young players in the squad and this is a good sign for me‚ everyone must earn the position because I only know a little about each player‚ this is a good opportunity for them to earn themselves a spot in the squad.

“I love developing players and I really believe you are never too old to learn‚ this is the kind of squad that you can work on individuals and still get a team result‚ but for right now the goal for me is simple; learn as much as I can as quick as I can based on my own opinions and get the team back to the Absa Premiership.”

Ajax are winless in their last five matches and currently sit in 11th‚ though only four points off the promotion places.

Ulderink will be the seventh Dutch fulltime coach for Ajax after Leo van Veen‚ Henk Bodewes‚ Foppe De Haan‚ Maarten Stekelenburg‚ Jan Versleijen and Stanley Menzo.