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Former Blackburn defender Ooijer hangs up his boots

Ajax defender Andre Ooijer has announced he will retire at the end of the season. The 37 year old Dutch international, who has also played for PSV Eindhoven and Blackburn Rovers during his career, made the announcement on Tuesday on Ajax's club website.

He said: "In recent months I have already hinted that I had the idea that I could not play another season.

"My role has changed in recent years. Last week I told the coach how I thought about it.

"I wanted this weekend to talk it over with some people and think carefully about the decision I have finally announced this morning."

Ajax coach Frank de Boer admitted Ooijer's announcement did not come as a shock.

"It was not a surprise for us, because I speak with Andre on a regular basis," he said.

"He hadn't made a final decision yet the last time we spoke, but he was already leaning toward retiring.

"It is a combination of his age and his current situation at Ajax. We therefore did not really consider him for next season, although we will certainly miss him."

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Dave Williams

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