Van Basten Takes Secondary Role on Return to AZ

Marco van Basten has revealed he will relegate to an assistant coach role at AZ Alkmaar on his return to the Dutch Eredevisie club following heath issues.

The former Netherlands international has been on leave since a fortnight ago on health concerns, missing the side’s 3-1 win at Dordrecht and Sunday’s 1-0 loss at home to Heerenveen.

AZ ended rumour the 49-year-old was to quit his role at the AFAS stadion all together, by announcing he would sign a new contract as an assistant coach until 2016.

Marco van Basten Named AZ Assistant Coach. Image: VI via Getty
Marco van Basten Named AZ Assistant Coach. Image: VI via Getty

“I have found that in recent times the role of head coach was causing me increasing physical and mental discomfort,” the Dutch football legend said on the club’s website.

“Therefore I decided I had to be honest with myself and with AZ. I wanted to return, but not as head coach. After extensive discussions with the club and (assistants) Alex Pastoor and Dennis Haar, we have found a suitable solution for all. I am delighted with my new role which is a little more in the background. I want to help the young players here.”

The club’s director of football Earnest Stewart says a deal is yet to be finalised for the new head coach, but Pastoor, who took on the role in Van Basten’s absence is likely to be named new manager.

He said Van Basten will concentrate on developing young talents at the club, which presently sits 12th in the 18-team Dutc top-flight table.