This past weekend, and the following days, proved to be busy days at De Toekomst, as Jong Ajax underwent a double-header in the Jupiler League, the U19’s had a trophy and Uefa Youth League game and the rest of the youth had their competition games as per usual. It wasn’t just busy on the game-front though, as the week also saw Noa Lang sign his first professional deal and Jong Ajax-starlet Carel Eiting was called up to the senior squad for the first time.
We start off with Jong Ajax’s Jupiler League exploits. On Friday, Keizer’s side kicked off against RKC Waalwijk, starting with Nouri, De Jong and Cerny amongst others. The first half didn’t prove to be overly spectacular, with Ajax having most of the possession but failing to create any real goalscoring opportunities. Former Ajacied Evander Sno, however, did get two chances for the away side, but he failed to capitalise on them. Just before half-time, it was eventually Frenkie de Jong breaking the deadlock, hitting it home with a placed shot.
After half time, the game kicked into live; or rather, it did for RKC. Just after the whistle, the Waalwijkers managed to get back to a 1-1 draw, as Bergsma blocked a ball with his hand and Langedijk convetered the penalty kick. It didn’t take long for Ajax to respond though, with Bergsm intercepting a pass and launching Eiting off, whom went on to score his first professional goal. Late in the game, Eiting drove the dagger into RKC’s back a bit deeper, as he scored his second of the evening and a goal from Mazraoui completed the score at 4-1 to Jong Ajax.
On Saturday afternoon, the U19’s played a cup game against Excelsior, which proved to be an easy opponent for the talent factory’s top dogs. In an easy 3-0 rout, the goals were scored by Zian Flemming, Reda Boultam and Kaj Sierhuis. The 2nd, from Reda Boultam, is one to keep in your short term memory, as the youngster curled the ball into the far corner with his left peg. Elsewhere on the complex, the U16’s destroyed PSV’s age-mates in a 5-2 trashing. Led by a hattrick of Brian Brobbey, Hossein Zamani and Kenneth Taylor completed the rout from the home side.
On Monday night, Jong Ajax travelled all the way down to the southern part of Limburg, where they faced off against Fortuna Sittard. On paper, Keizer’s boys seemed to have a huge advance, with no less than seven first-team players starting. But a wise man once said that football’s played on the pitch, not on paper. A very wise man, might I add.
After 4 seconds shy of a minute, Ajax already grabbed the lead. Cerny was completely open to net the fast, low cross by Mazraoui. From there, Fortuna took the initiative though, and Marcel Keizer might’ve sent Norbert Alblas a thank you note at half time, as the goalkeeper was the main reason Fortuna remained with a nil on the scoreboard. The away side, however, did score again, as Cassierra managed to bag a goal from a Frenkie de Jong freekick.
Early in the second half, Jong Ajax tried to force a third, decisive goal, but they couldn’t break the defence. Instead, Fortuna got one back as Finn Stokkers put one past Alblas. 20 minutes later, Per Schuurs managed to get a lucky equaliser in the 75th minute. After that goal, the deadlock was broken and Zitterd went on a rampage. Within 10 minutes, they managed to score 3 times and completely tilt the game into their favour. Led by former Ajacied Sunday Olisah as their manager, Gavin Vlijter and Djibril Dianessy (2x) were responsible for the late goals.
Last, but quite certainly not least, a game in the UEFA Youth League was taking place at De Toekomst on Tuesday evening. Ajax U19’s faced off against Juventus’ U19’s, in a heated yet very impressive game from the youngsters. Against an aggressive Italian side, Reda Boultam was the only one showing some fire early on. Unfortunately, his flash moves didn’t light up the rest of the team, resulting in a rather quiet opening of the game by the home side. Unsurprisingly, Juventus were the first ones to have a go at goal, but Van Bladeren managed to keep his sheet clean.
— AjaxDaily (@ajaxdailydotcom) February 7, 2017
Ajax got a few small chances in the first half, but failed to find the net with them and the game appeared to be heading into halftime with a nil-nil on the board. Appeared, however. Carel Eiting is the name, scoring a ridiculous goal from distance is his game. With the ball ending up just outside the box, after a deflection, the young midfielder laced it up and steered it past Audero into the top left corner. Half time, 1-0 lead.
— AjaxDaily (@ajaxdailydotcom) February 7, 2017
Halftime tea hadn’t even cooled off in the lads’ stomach and Ajax had already scored their second goal of the game. A curling cross by Lopez found Sierhuis completely open in front of goal and the hitman didn’t hesitate for a second, quickly poking it home and sprinting off in celebration. Sierhuis’ effort proved to be the killer blow for Juventus’ mentality, as Ajax calmly brought the win home and secured themselves off a spot in the next round of the coveted Youth League.