In Back to the Future, AjaxDaily writer Oracolo takes a look at what’s happened at Ajax’ beloved and praised academy, De Toekomst, in the past week.
In a weekend that saw Jong Ajax captain Matthijs de Ligt score an important goal at home against Heracles, Feyenoord retain their 5-point lead in the league through a moment of madness by Zoet and the debut of highly anticipated Brazilian winger David Neres, something else happened that’s a testimony to the way Ajax’ youth academy is developing. Jong Ajax, also known as Ajax 2 or the Reserves, won their very first period title in the Jupiler League, being presented the Bronzen Stier by Sjaak Swart.
Friday night, Jupiler League night. The venue was De Toekomst, Jong Ajax’ opponent FC Eindhoven (the other club from PSV’s hometown). In a tightly contested game, Keizer’s men didn’t come further than a 1-1 draw but due to their competitors also failing to win their games, Jong Ajax managed to snap up the 3rd period title of the league.
Ajax dominated the game in the first half, with two early chances for Van de Beek and Sierhuis. Both were, correctly, given off-side though. A busy Jong Ajax managed to create a few more chances, with Van de Beek’s shot being blocked and Sierhuis failing to convert a Kluivert-cross, but couldn’t quite force a goal yet.
All of that changed when Zeefuik was replaced by Lartey Sanniez. Sierhuis, positioning himself exceptionally inside the box, got on the end of another cross by Kluivert, drop kicking it into the back of the net behind Swinkels. A few more, small, chances followed for both Van de Beek and Kluivert, but it remained 1-0 at half time.
In the second half, Eindhoven changed their game through substitions and it paid off almost immediately. The original shot was stopped by Alblas, but the rebound fell to Uiterloo whom scored the equaliser. Ajax, with Nouri coming on to replace De Jong, lost control of the game and, despite creating a few chances, nearly conceded the second goal, with Uiterloo narrowly missing.
Matthijs de Ligt had an effort from distance in the dying seconds of the game, but unfortunately his shot went just wide; with the game ending 1-1. Due to the draw, Jong Ajax ended in second place in the league, with 54 points. But due to league leaders VVV Venlo already having one 1 period title, the title was for the youngsters whom received the trophy from Sjaak Swart’s hands in celebration.
On Saturday afternoon, the U17’s lined up in their most import game of the season, the mini-Klassieker against Feyenoord. The game didn’t shine in football quality though, as both sides made a lot of errors. The youngsters came back from a deficit two times, to nearly win the game in the final few minutes, but it all ended 2-2.
Feyenoord were the dominant side right from the get go, forcing some brilliant saves from Meuwese. He was not able to stop everything though, as the hard wind forced Simon Loshi’s effort into the back of the net. In the second half, the U17’s fought back hard and it paid off; Daishawn Redan scores to make it 1-1.
The status quo didn’t last long though, as four minutes later, Meuwesen was sent fishing again. In an odd situation, the ball was headed out of the goalie’s hands and Feyenoord grabbed the lead again. The same went for the away side though, as against four minutes later, Redan found the net once more; 2-2. Aberkane came close to grabbing the winner in the 90th minute, but his free kick unfortunately landed on the bar.