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Ajax turn to John van 't Schip as coach for rest of calamitous season

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AMSTERDAM, Netherlands (AP) — Slumping in last place in the Dutch league, four-time European champion Ajax named former player John van 't Schip as coach Monday for the rest of a so-far calamitous season.

Ajax said in a statement van 't Schip will be interim coach "before stepping into a function in technical management" in July.

The appointment came one day after Ajax lost 5-2 to league-leading PSV Eindhoven and one week after coach Maurice Steijn was fired just seven league games into a three-year contract.

Ajax's only league win was on the opening day in August and fan disorder forced a home game against defending champion Feyenoord to be stopped and completed three days later as a 4-0 loss. The Dutch giant also is last in its Europa League group without a win in three games.

Van 't Schip's previous coaching job was with the Greece national team two years ago. His assistant then, Michael Valkanis, rejoins him for the rest of the season after leaving Hapoel Tel Aviv, Ajax said.

Van 't Schip played in midfield for Ajax for more than a decade and was in the Netherlands squad that won the 1988 European Championship.

He was an assistant coach to his long-time former teammate Marco van Basten with both the national team and Ajax from 2004 to 2009.

"John is a real Ajax man," chief executive Jan van Halst said in a statement, adding "for the long term we see a different technical role for him."

Van 't Schip said Ajax "needs to find the way up again and I'm happy to help in that matter."


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