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' 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.
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
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.