Dutch giants Ajax appoint former Melbourne City coaching duo

Last week on A-Leagues All Access it's Bruno Fornaroli like you’ve never seen him before. From his humble beginnings in Uruguay, a friendship with Luis Suarez and a Socceroos debut, he shares the stories of his journey from Montevideo to Melbourne - where he played under both John Van't Schip and Michael Valkanis for City..

Ajax have appointed former Melbourne City coach and assistant boss John van ‘t Schip as the club’s interim manager.

The 36-time Dutch champions, who slumped to the bottom of the Eredivisie table on Sunday after losing 5-2 at PSV Eindhoven, parted company with Maurice Steijn last week.

A club statement read: “Ajax appoints John van ‘t Schip as interim head coach of Ajax 1. The former Ajax player signs a contract with the club running from October 30 2023 until June 30 2025.

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“Van ‘t Schip and Ajax have agreed to him stepping into a function in technical management from July 1 2024.”

Former Ajax and Netherlands winger Van ‘t Schip, 59 won four Eredivisie titles during his time at the club as a player and has had two previous spells as assistant manager.

He was also appointed interim manager in 2009 following Marco van Basten’s resignation and has spent time as boss of Twente and the Greece national team.

Van’t Schip was City’s inaugural coach between 2010-12 when they were under the Melbourne Heart moniker, before returning in 2013 for a four year stint at the helm.

The Dutchman led the club to their first ever piece of silverware, winning the 2016 FFA Cup.

Ajax have not specified what role Van ‘t Schip will take on at the club next summer.

The club confirmed Hapoel Tel Aviv head coach Michael Valkanis has been appointed assistant boss, teaming back up with Van ‘t Schip after spells together with Greece, Melbourne City and PEC Zwolle.

Valkanis took over as City head coach until the end of the 2016-17 Isuzu UTE A-League season after Van’t Schip resigned in January 2017.

“Hedwiges Maduro, who took on the role of head coach this week, returns to his role as assistant trainer. Temporary assistant trainer Dave Vos will resume his duties as head coach of Jong Ajax,” the club said.

Van ‘t Schip added: “I’m very happy that the deal is done and I’m eager to start at the club where it once all began for me.

“The conversations with all people involved resulted in a great feeling for me. Ajax needs to find the way up again and I’m happy to help in that matter.”

Ajax, Dutch champions in 2022 under Manchester United head coach Erik ten Hag, have won just one and lost five of their first eight league games this season.