Football

Ajax appoint inexperienced Keizer as coach

Ajax Amsterdam said on Saturday that they will appoint the relatively inexperienced Marcel Keizer as their new head coach following the departure of Peter Bosz for Borussia Dortmund after a single season.

"He (Keizer) will shortly sign a contract starting 1 July 2017 with a span of two years," Ajax said in a statement.

"The agreement has an option for an added year."

Keizer is currently the head coach of Jong Ajax (Young Ajax), the powerful club's second team which shot to second place in this year's second-tier Jupiler League behind VVV Venlo.

Dutch media have called his appointment "a gamble" as Keizer lacks experience on the highest level, having worked with only small Dutch clubs such as Cambuur and Emmen and taking the field for Ajax only four times as a player.

But Ajax said they believe Keizer is the right man for the job.

"Keizer was the most suitable candidate from the moment there was a possibility that we would be looking for a new coach," Ajax's general manager and goalkeeping legend Edwin van der Sar said.

"He knows the players, the organisation and supports the club's philosophy," added van der Sar, one of the most-capped Dutch internationals who also played for Ajax, Juventus and Manchester United.

"We had some positive talks and I feel the organisation's confidence in me," Keizer said in the statement.

"It's a great opportunity I would like to grab with both hands.

"Currently I'm still on holiday but will soon proudly sign the new contract."

Bosz was named Dortmund coach earlier this month.

German media reports say Dortmund agreed to pay Ajax five million euros (S$7.7m) to bring in Bosz, with SID, an AFP subsidiary, saying the fee paid was "the highest in the history of the Bundesliga" for a coach.

Ajax lost the Europa League final to Man United last month and, at home, finished second to arch-rivals Feyenoord. - AFP