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.
With Dolberg back scoring for the first team squad, everything looks rosy and positive again for Ajax at the senior front. Twente was beaten 3-0 on Sunday. Thankfully enough, that wasn’t the only good thing happening at De Toekomst after last week’s let-down. With the U17’s having a pause because of international football, luckily Jong Ajax had a double whammy (Friday and Monday game) and the U19’s played on Saturday for the league and Tuesday for the Cup. On we go!
First up this weekend where Jong Ajax, travelling away to De Graafschap in Doetinchem. The team sheet looked very strong, with Nouri, Cassierra, De Jong, Cerny and David Neres all starting, but the game proved to be rather weak from Ajax’ side as Keizer’s men suffered a dreaded loss.
The opening minutes were all Jong Ajax, with Cassierra creating some dangerous moments in front of Bednarek’s goal. A few minutes later, De Graafschap were the one’s to open the score though. Anthony van den Hurk used his body strength well, to net a low cross and make it 1-0 for the Superboeren.
Ajax struck back quickly though, as Mazraoui found Cerny, whom dribbled his way past Bednarek and scored a well-worked effort into the near corner. Ten minutes later, Ajax even grabbed the lead as a frivolous move was finished by Frenk de Jong. Both Neres and Cassierra were involved into the build-up for De Jong’s 1-2.
De Graafschap came out of the dressing room far stronger than Jong Ajax, almost immediately capitulating on an error from Albas, whom let go of a clinched ball, to see Van der Hurk tap in the equaliser (2-2). After a quiet second hallf, thing started heating up again near the end and the home side eventually proved to grab the win. Van der Hurk did magnificent to head the ball past Ablas for the 3rd time this game, finishing with a hattrick in both goals and points (2-3).
On Saturday, the mini-Klassieker was on the cards, as the Ajax U19’s faced off against their age-mates from Feyenoord at De Toekomst. With the sidelines packed with a crowd, Ajax started out rather quietly (as seemingly is the standard with the squad this season), but did manage to force a few chances for both Sierhuis and De Wit in the opening minutes.
Feyenoord proved to be the more clinical side though, as they scored the opener from a set-play. A corner was put behind De Lange bij Robertha, as he worked it high up into the back of the net. Their lead didn’t last long though, as Ajax got one back through a brilliant effort from Noa Lang.
The goal greatly improved Ajax’ play and the youngsters really put pressure on Feyenoord as their game got better and better. To top it off, Feyenoord-defender Malacia was sent off with a red card before half time. In the second half, Ajax finally translated their numerical advantage into one on the scoreboard, with whom else than Sierhuis netting a double to bring Ajax a 3-1 win over their fierce rivals. Not only did they beat Feyenoord though, the 3 points also brought the U19’s a step closer to catching up with PSV.
On Monday evening, a strong Jong Ajax side played against Volendam in the Jupiler League. The start was excellent at De Toekomst, as the team began aggressive and pressurised the visitors early on. It resulted in a few chances and a well-worked goal early on. Neres found Deyovasio out on the right flank, with the right full-back curling a ball into the box. At the end of his cross was the head of Adbelhak Nouri, of all players, which steered the ball onto the bottom of the bar and into the net with his forehead. 1-0.
The goal proved to be the wake-up call for Volendam, whom created dangers from a few corner kicks but couldn’t get past Norbert Alblas. The goalie then went out to challenge himself, screwing up with two bad passes, but luckily, Volendam just weren’t on the money. Neres also missed an open chance just before half-time, leaving a 1-0 on the board as the boys got their cups of tea.
The second half was a different story. The best football was played by Ajax but, which is happening far to often this season, the most dangerous chances were found on Volendam’s side of things. After sixty minutes of play, a move on the right flank was defended badly and a cross ended up at Kevin van Kippersluis. The former youth player didn’t hesitate and slotted the ball into the back of the net, equalising the game.
After the equaliser, Ajax grew stronger and got two big chances to grab the lead again, as Dankerlui nearly scored twice (once through a head, another chance squandered as his shot just ended up being wide). Ten minutes before the end, Carel Eiting got close to winning the game but his shot ended up also missing the goal. With the finishing touch not being present at either side of the pitch, the game ended in a 1-1 draw.
Lastly, the U19’s played a Cup game; facing off against Roda JC in Kerkrade. The side from Limburg were no challenge at all for a swinging Ajax side though, as an early goal from Kaars set Ajax on their way to a 0-5 win. The other goals were scored by Flemming (twice), Struijck and Boultam. Regular U17 player Jurgen Ekkelenkamp also made his debut for the U19’s on the evening.