Ajax Cape Town launches Soccer School
6 October 2010
The Ajax Cape Town Youth Academy, modelled on Ajax Amsterdam's world-renowned academy, has been turning out top football professionals since 1999. Now, the Cape Town club is extending its development programme to younger kids with the launch of the Ajax Soccer School.
Launching on 8 October, the Ajax Soccer School will working in conjunction with Fives Futbol to offer a professional football development programme for boys and girls from the ages of five to 13.
Ajax Cape Town Youth Academy
Premier Soccer League (PSL) club Ajax Cape Town has excelled in the youth ranks since establishing its youth academy in 1999, successfully producing players both for South Africa's PSL and for international markets. Everton and Bafana Bafana midfielder Steven Pienaar has been the most prominent of them.
Others well-known players to have made their mark include Moeneeb Josephs, Franklin Cale, Terror Fanteni, Clifford Ngobeni, Daylon Claasen, Bryce Moon and Nathan Paulse. In total, the Academy has produced in excess of 70 professionals.
The effectiveness of the Ajax youth system is clear in the fact that 17 of the 26-player Ajax Cape Town PSL squad are home-produced players.
The Ajax Soccer School is viewed as the next chapter in the history of the Urban Warriors as they seek to increase their influence in the development of youth football in Cape Town and its surrounds.
At present, that footprint extends across the Cape Flats via the Ajax Community Scheme, which facilitates football programmes across the Cape Peninsular, using up to 20 trained coaches to work among young players in the areas where they live.
Now, at the Ajax Soccer School, the coaches will work with the players in weekly one-hour sessions, covering all areas of football development.
Each child will be evaluated individually by the Ajax Soccer School's qualified coaches, and all data relating to the child's development will be stored and filed.
A typical Soccer School session will include a 10-15 minute technique-related warm-up, a 10-15 minute technique-related drill, and a 20-30 minute related small-sided game.
The Ajax Soccer School coaches are:
- Stanton Smith – former Hellenic FC player, currently Ajax Cape Town under-13 coach; KNVB level 2 Certificate (Dutch Football Association).
- Ian Taylor – former Cape Town Spurs, Battswood and FC Fortune player; currently Ajax Cape Town under-15 coach; KNVB level 2 Certificate (Dutch Football Association).
- Noel Cousins – former Arcadia Shepherds and Moroka Swallows striker; 1987 NPSL top goal scorer award; former Hellenic Academy coach; currently Ajax Cape Town under-19 coach.
The Ajax Soccer School lists among its many benefits:
- A good player-to-coach ratio, which means individuals receive more specialized attention.
- The implementation of the Dutch Development philosophy.
- Small-sided games which develop kids naturally in all areas of their development.
- Helping the community by leaving an improved sports facility benchmark.
- Improving individual performances through improved self-confidence.
- Improving the standard of soccer at schools and clubs and thereby in the wider community.
Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material