Foppe de Haan.
Foppe de Haan.
Hans Vonk.
Hans Vonk.

Former head coach Foppe de Haan and ex-goalkeeper Hans Vonk will reunite at Ajax Cape Town.

The Urban Warriors announced on their website on Thursday that De Haan and Vonk will work together at the Youth Academy.

The club already boasts the coaching talent of first team head coach Stanley Menzo, Mich d’Avray, Duncan Crowie and Vladislav Heric, and now De Haan and Vonk will complete the coaching team at Ikamva.

De Haan and Vonk will work hand-in-hand in taking the club’s youth development programme to a new level as the Urban Warriors aim to further bolster their status as the premier club when it comes to nurturing future football stars in South Africa.

A fantastic technical team – which blends Dutch efficiency with South Africa flair – is not only sure to profit the club a great deal, but also the Western Cape community, with De Haan to host coaching courses in the province.

Vonk will officially take over as the new Head of Youth with immediate effect – following his arrival in the country next Tuesday – with the former Bafana Bafana goalkeeper to be assisted by his mentor, De Haan, who will arrive in South Africa in August following the conclusion of the 2017 UEFA European Women’s Championship in the Netherlands.

“I am very happy to be back in South Africa, happy to be back in Cape Town,” said Vonk while watching the Ajax Under-19s’ opening game at the 2017 Bayhill Premier Cup at Erica Park.

“We are looking forward to improving on the current standard of the Youth Academy at the club. The biggest aim is to improve the level of the coaches, which will automatically improve the level of the players.

“Besides that, obviously there are many more aspects that need work: helping the scouting department find the right players, and looking after the players in terms of life skills – there are a lot of things to do.”

The 47-year-old Vonk said he is looking forward to coaching the coaches too.

“Foppe, his experience and knowledge of the coaches will be key – his involvement is a big boost for Ajax Cape Town,” Vonk said.

“He will definitely help, give courses to the youth coaches and move into the communities because that is another aim, to build on not only the club, but also our relationships with other clubs in Cape Town.

“I would like to take from what I have learnt from the best coaches in my career, the likes of De Haan and Carlos Alberto Parreira, and transfer that knowledge over to the youth coaches at the club. I want to find the correct blend between the South African way and the Ajax Amsterdam way.

South Africa has given me a lot of opportunities, both Bafana Bafana and Ajax Cape Town, and I am very grateful to be able to now give something back to the club and the country.”

De Haan is a surname synonymous with success at Ajax Cape Town, with the former Netherlands U21 mentor having brought huge amounts of joy to the club between 2009 and 2011.

Now at 73 years of age, De Haan has lost none of his appetite for the game. Such is his value that the Dutch women’s team have roped De Haan into their ranks for the 2017 UEFA European Women’s Championship on home soil.