HISTORY On 13 March of the year 1900, the Amsterdamsche Football Club Ajax was formed, although the club had existed for some years before this official action. There had been a club called 'Ajax as early as 1393, and we know of an actual membership charter from 1394 of the club which now, more than one hundred years later, is a footbaii club with worldwide fame because of its vision, its style and results. Three years after the official formation, the young club was admitted to organised competitions by the national football association. The second division of the Amsterdam Football League was the platform on which Ajax made its debut. During this time, Ajax already presented itself as a very well organised and excellently managed club. And as an ambitious club. After the club had narrowly missed promotion to the highest league, Ajax merged with another club, 'Flolland'. The fact that this name subsequently disappeared and the former 'Flolland' players therefore must have integrated into Ajax, says something for the drive of the club. In 1911, the club's efforts gained it promotion to the first division. After keeping its place there for a couple of seasons, the team was relegated to the second division. This would prove the only relegation of its first team in the dub's history. Two years after being relegated, Ajax worked its way back up, and from there became nationally renowned. The first Dutch league championship was celebrated In 1913. It was not just any old league championship: Ajax won the title without losing a single match, a feat which was only to be repeated 55 years later, byAjax. The title was won under manager Jack Reynolds, an Englishman who can be regarded as the very first teacher of the Ajax school of football, which later became so famous. Reynolds made Ajax play technically refined and attacking football, and he paid much attention to the development of young players, something which would become typical for the organisation of the club. After the second league title in 1919, Ajax continued to play a prominent role in the Dutch top division, but the club had to wait until 1931 before another title could be celebrated. That championship was the start of what within the club is called 'the Golden Age'. Ajax won no less than five league titles in the Thirties, while ending the season as runners-up in the championship play-offs three times. The national successes had their effect on the Amsterdam youths: to be chosen to play for the Ajax youth teams was regarded an honour, even in those days. The young talented hopefuls could only get in after playing a trial game, and the so-called 'open days' attracted many young players. As in those days, the open days of Ajax are still very popular among young players. Ajax by now supplied a steady flow of international players for the Dutch team. In 1911, Gerard Fortgens had been the first Ajax player to have the honour to play for the national team. Fortgens' example was followed by nearly one hundred other Ajax players. This makes Ajax by far the largest supplier of players to the Dutch national team. The brilliant Thirties gave the club another highlight. The old stadium, which was situated near the place where we now find the Christiaan Huygensplein in the eastern part of Amsterdam, proved to be too small. The stadium was sold out regularly, and a lot of fans had to be disappointed, especially when


Jaarverslagen Ajax NV (vanaf 1997) | 1998 | | pagina 5