Ajax Amsterdam have appointed Martin Jol as their head coach on a three-year contract, the Dutch club said on Tuesday. Jol, who was under contract at Germany's SV Hamburg until 2010, will succeed Marco van Basten who resigned a week before the end of the season. The 53-year-old Jol was not the first choice for Ajax who held talks with Co Adriaanse, Frank Rijkaard and Morten Olsen. Ajax had a disappointing season under Van Basten who was expected to deliver their first title since 2004, finishing third behind AZ Alkmaar and Twente Enschede and missing out on Champions league qualification. "Martin has all qualities the new coach of Ajax should have in our opinion," director Rik van der Boog said in a statement. "He worked in the Netherlands and abroad with big clubs and average clubs and proved he can get the maximum out of players." Jol, who played for Twente Enschede, Bayern Munich, West Bromwich Albion and Coventry City, started his coaching career at Roda JC Kerkrade in 1996 and won the cup in his first season. After a six-year spell at mid-table RKC Waalwijk, he joined Tottenham Hotspur in 2004, finishing fifth in the Premier League in 2006 and 2007 before being sacked in 2007. Jol took over from Huub Stevens at Hamburg in July 2008 and led them to the UEFA Cup and German Cup semi-finals. They finished fifth in the Bundesliga to qualify for the new Europa League. "Ajax is offering me a bright chance, with long-term perspective" Jol said. "I had a great time working for Hamburg, which is a really big club, but after years working abroad I look forward to return to the Netherlands."
26 May 2009
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