The 29-year-old has spent the last 12 years playing in the Netherlands, but says the time was right for him to test his skills abroad.
“I played in Holland for 12 years, but I like an adventure. I had a chance to go to nearby European countries, but it was going to be the same,” he tells KickOff.com.
“So when Ajax came to me I thought this was a great chance to develop as a person and also as a player.”
The former FC Groningen captain says that he didn’t know much about South African football before joining Ajax, though that is quickly changing.
“When you are in Europe you don’t hear much about South Africa in general,” Van de Laak says. “Everything is new for me, but now that I’m here I have got to know some of the teams like Pirates, who have [Benni] McCarthy. I also know [Siphiwe] Tshabalala.”
Van de Laak is hoping to get straight into the action when Ajax face SuperSport United in their first League game of the season.
“I hope I can show what I’m capable of, but first I must look to make the starting line-up,” he says.