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Academy management, talent development, coaching, style of play, training methodology, (individual) skills training, international football, Dutch-English


Wim is a former professional football player, with 49 times Dutch international caps. He is the former Head of the Academy at AFC Ajax Amsterdam.

A typical midfield architect and master of the passing game, as a player, Wim was known for his skills and excellent vision of the game, as well as his accurate passing and powerful shooting. Starting his career at FC Volendam in 1986, Wim was quickly recruited by Johan Cruyff to join the ranks at Ajax. After winning the national championship, the Dutch national cup and the UEFA Cup (1992) with the Amsterdam giants, he moved to Internazionale, where he won the UEFA Cup again in 1994, scoring the decisive goal in the final. In 1995, Wim continued his career at PSV Eindhoven, winning another national championship, the Dutch national cup and three consecutive Supercups.

As a player for the Dutch national team, Wim participated in the 1992 European Championship and two consecutive World Championships of 1994 and 1998 (semi finalist). He finished his career as a player at Sheffield Wednesday and retired in 2000 due to injury.

Returning to football in 2004, Wim took up the role of technical director at FC Volendam. In 2008, he returned to Ajax Amsterdam to work as an individual skills trainer. Seeing the potential for improvement and given the challenges of modern football, he concluded that the once famed academy needed to improve, both in terms of quality but also in terms of its philosophy.

Consequently, Wim teamed up with Johan Cruyff and Ruben Jongkind in 2010 to write the Plan Cruyff. One of the main pillars of this visionary plan was the reform of the Ajax youth academy, based on an individual approach in talent development. After a period of great turbulence, often referred to as “the velvet revolution”, the club finally adopted the Plan Cruyff in 2011.

Wim was appointed Head of the Academy and a member of the newly instituted Technical Heart in charge of football policymaking. Between 2012 and December 2015, he implemented the Plan Cruyff, and by doing so revolutionized the academy and the club as a whole. In collaboration with Head of Talent Development Ruben Jongkind, Wim fundamentally reformed the Ajax academy structure and its culture, introducing a new philosophy that marked the players and their development as the indisputable focal point of the academy, in all aspects of its organisation and processes. In addition, Wim coached the Ajax U19 team towards national title success and showcased an impressive UEFA Youth League campaign with spectacular attacking football.

In December 2015, after a period of ongoing disagreement with the Ajax board of directors about the lack of consistent implementation of the Plan Cruyff in other parts of the club, the involvement of Johan Cruyff and Wim Jonk and his team within Ajax, came to an end. As a coach, Wim is a holder of the UEFA Pro License.