Premier League cult hero returns in new role on David Moyes' staff – nine years after snubbing West Ham transfer | The Sun

DAVID MOYES has added a Premier League cult hero to his West Ham staff.

That’s nine years after he snubbed the Irons as a player.

Heitinga, 39, has been named as one of three new assistants to link up with Moyes in east London.

The former Everton and Fulham defender retired from playing in 2016.

And earlier this year he was interim Ajax boss between January and June, win 14 of 22 matches in the dugout.

However, Heitinga is now taking a step backwards to learn the ropes from Moyes.


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Along with fellow new arrivals Mark Robson and Henry Newman, he will be hoping to help the Hammers continue their fine form to the new season.

And Moyes, who signed Heitinga from Atletico Madrid while Everton boss in 2009, can’t wait to take the Dutchman under his wing.

Moyes said:  “I would like to welcome John to West Ham United and also welcome Mark and Henry into the first-team group.

“John is someone I have known for a long time. 

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“He has gained some very good experience since beginning his coaching career in the Ajax Academy and working his way up to their first-team. 

“Mark and Henry are both already familiar to everyone here at the Club and have deserved the opportunity to step up within our structure.

“John, Mark and Henry will each bring experience in different areas and complement the strengths we already have in the coaching team alongside Billy (McKinlay), Kevin (Nolan) and Xavi (Valero). 

“I look forward to working with them and building on the positive start we have made to the new season.”

Heitinga started his professional playing career at Ajax in 2001, winning two league titles before departing in 2008.

He then spent one single season at Atletico Madrid before moving to England with Everton.

Heitinga played 140 times for the Toffees over four seasons before signing with Fulham in 2013.

But he was on the move a year later with Hertha Berlin, rejecting a transfer offer from West Ham in the process.

And in 2015 Heitinga returned to Ajax, playing three times before calling it a day in February 2016.

He soon moved into coaching with the Dutch side, eventually becoming boss of their youth side for 18 months from July 2021.

Heitinga was then given the main job in January this year following Alfred Schreuder’s dismissal.

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But despite losing just four times in 22 outings, he still could not close the gap to eventual winners Feyenoord.

And Heitinga was dismissed from his role in June, with Maurice Steijn replacing him.

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