Saturday, 18 October 2008

Wim Suurbier 1986/87 (id); Asst. Coach 1986/87 (id)

Wilhelmus ("Wim") Lourens Johannes Suurbier was born 16th January, 1945 in Eindhoven, Noord-Brabant, he is a former Dutch International player. He was wingback who was part of the great AFC Ajax teams of the 1970s.
Wim is generally regarded as one of the greatest defenders in Ajax history. He developed into an Amsterdammer after having entered the Ajax youth system in 1962. He was a rocket-fast right fullback, who could do 100 metres in 11.2 seconds. He was famous for his rushes over the right flank, often making it all the way to the goal-line for the cross.
Wim made his Ajax-1 d├ębut on 5th January 1964, in the Eredivisie away game at ADO. Until his transfer to German side Schalke '04 in October 1977 he played the stunning number of 363 Eredivisie games for Ajax, winning eight Dutch championships. He also played 43 domestic cup games, winning the KNVB Cup four times. His 63 European games brought him to no less than four European Champions Cup finals. He got to lift the 'big one' in three consecutive seasons: 1971, 1972 and 1973. He played the full 90 minutes in each of those finals.
He also won the European Super Cup with the 'Golden Ajax' in 1972 and 1973 and, finally, the World Cup for club teams in 1972. In total Wim Suurbier played a flabbergasting 509 official games for Ajax, a number only surpassed by his team-mate, 'Mister Ajax' Sjaak Swart. Suurbier wasn't known as a goalscorer: in total he netted 16 times in the Eredivisie and three times in European competition.
Almost naturally, Wim was also a key member of the Dutch national team of the 1970s. In total he played 60 games for Holland, including two World Cup finals (1974 and 1978). Both were lost by the Dutch, but the tournament of 1974 brought a personal triumph for Wim: he was voted Best Defender in the World that season.
After his Schalke years Wim played in France with FC Metz, China and the United States with the LA Aztecs of the NASL, a brief spell back in Holland with Sparta Rotterdam, then return to play for the San Jose Earthquakes, before ending his career as a professional player he played in 10 games for the Rowdies during the 1986-87 AISA Season. Was Rodney Marsh's Assistant that season. In the 1987-1988 season he coached the Fort Lauderdale Strikers. He also worked in Qatar and, most recently, served as the coach of SC Heerenveen's reserves team.

Today, Wim Suurbier is technical director of Ajax Orlando, Ajax's Florida-based 'satellite club'. The news was announced in a special press release on the official Ajax Orlando website.

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