0 Amateur football Furthermore, Ajax has four amateur teams, playing in the Saturday league organised by the Dutch Football Association. These teams are not part of the training programme of the first team of Ajax. The teams make use of the facilities of 'De Toekomst'. Players of the Saturday amateur teams are club members. Youth training programme The main pillar of Ajax' successes and reputation is the youth training programme. The quality of the youth training programme is important for: (i) the flow of young talent to Ajax' first team squad, (ii) the number of players which have to be bought from other clubs and the level of costs this involves and (iii) the transfer income to be realised by Ajax. Ajax' aim is to create a flow of talent from the highest youth team to the second team of 5 to 7 players per season. Of the second team, 3 players should make it to the selection of the first team. The end goal of the youth training is that on average 1.5 players achieve a regular place in the first team. Since the programme was made fully professional in 1979, 37 players from the youth training programme achieved a regular place in the first team. The youth training programme of Ajax consists of 10 junior teams, divided amongst the following categories: E juniors (8/9 and 9/10 year olds), D juniors (10/11 and 11/12 year olds), C juniors (12/13 and 13/14 year olds), B juniors (14/15 and 15/16 year olds) and A juniors (16/17 and 17/18 year olds). Each team consists of 16 players, each of whom is assessed during the season. When the trainers, under the management of the Director of Training believe that a player cannot progress any further, he will not be recommended for continuation of his training with Ajax the next season. In the selection and training process, assessment criteria are used, suchs as technique (ball skills), intelligence (reading the game, tactical skills), personality and speed (both physical and handling speed) the so-called TIPS-model. The teams within the youth training programme use the same playing concept as the professional players within the club. This means that the way of playing the game and technical implementation are identical to that of the first team. In this way Ajax trains players that fit into the technical, tactical and attacking system preferred by the club. Experience has shown that players from the Ajax youth training programme who do not make it into the first team selection nearly always achieve a dace at another professional football organisation. There is one professional trainer for each category of junior players, while the youth training programme has various medical facilities. The youth training programme is supervised by the 'Director of Training' who has a contract for an indefinite period. The technical and support staff consists of 25 people, 10 trainers, 10 team supervisors (volunteers) and 5 members of the medical staff. There are also five volunteers who form the 'study and supervision committee'. They help the twelve teachers who support the young footballers in their schooling and give support in cases which are not directly football-related or school-related. The number of hours for which the services of these teachers are needed, depends on the need for support. The entire youth training programme is based at sports park 'De Toekomst' (9 hectares in size). The park has three full-size football pitches, three training pitches and an artificial grass pitch. There is also a power training and physiotherapists' facility, a swimming pool for rehabilitation purposes and several study rooms. Scouting Together with the youth training programme, the scouting system has been the basis for the past and present successes. The system uses a large number of volunteers, who, along the lines of the TIPS-model, scout in general and for specific positions and age groups. The scouting system has always been strongly oriented towards the Netherlands. In the past five years, the first steps were taken towards a more international approach. Together with the 'Flead of scouting', Ajax employs two full-time scouts. In total, Ajax employs some 21 scouts, all working for Ajax on an exclusive basis. In addition, the Company has an extensive network of volunteer scouts.


Jaarverslagen Ajax NV (vanaf 1997) | 1998 | | pagina 23