Many Ajax supporters have their own idea about what signifies a typical “Ajax striker”. A, on the verge of mythical, term used to describe what traits the Ajax player wearing the number 9 jersey should possess. Many claim that Patrick Kluivert was the last of the seemingly dying breed, whereas others believe Kasper Dolberg is the Danish reincarnation of the “Ajax striker”. In short, the striker should have the pace and technical abilities to create his own chances combined with the goal scoring abilities and physique of a target man. Ideally, the perfect Ajax number 9 should be able to link up play with midfield and be back in the box to head in a cross provided by the winger in one attacking move. For many years the Ajax academy has tried to find the next Patrick Kluivert among its youth ranks. Current Jong Ajax striker, Kaj Sierhuis, does not fit the aforementioned profile at all, but don’t write him off just yet. Although Sierhuis may not possess the technical abilities to tear apart the opponent’s defense with Messi-esque pace and dribbles, he does have a rather useful trick up his sleeves: banging in the goals, and lots of ‘em!
Kaj’ story begins in Athens, Greece, where his father was stationed for work and was a chair member of local side AEK Athens. In 2001, the Sierhuis family moved back to the Netherlands, where Kaj started to play with a football at home. A few years later Kaj was scouted and offered a trial at AZ, FC Volendam and Ajax. Whilst still playing for his local side WSV, he played a match against AZ. During half time, the AZ players asked their coach if AZ could sign Kaj. However, Kaj had other ideas. As avid Ajax fans, the Sierhuis family attended Ajax matches since Kaj was 6 years old, making Ajax the obvious choice. Kaj progressed through the Ajax youth ranks with ease, always impressing with goals and good performances. After graduating high school, Kaj decided to continue studying Economics and business administration at University level. Kaj’ determination to pursue a master degree besides a professional football career is a characteristic well appreciated by his family and coaches.
As a Player
Kaj Sierhuis describes himself as a Poacher who has the ability to position himself at the right place at the right time. His strong physique allows him to function as an outlet for midfielders to play into and link up the play. Despite not being the tallest of strikers, Kaj poses a real threat in the box with his heading ability. Kaj is experiencing a prolific season so far, netting 28 goals in 32 matches in all competitions. Kaj played 16 matches for Ajax U-19 in the U19 Eredivisie, during which he managed to hit the back of the net an impressive 15 times. Kaj also appeared in the Ajax squad that participated in the UEFA Youth League (Champions League for youth teams). Although Ajax lost 2-1 to Read Madrid in the quarter finals, Kaj performed particularly well during the tournament: netting 8 goals in 7 games. His performances have not gone unnoticed as he was called up for Jong Ajax for the first time last November. Kaj has since then made 8 appearances for Jong Ajax in the Jupiler League, scoring 4 and assisting 2 in the process. Currently, sidelined due to a knee injury, Kaj is recovering and hoping to join the Jong Ajax squad sooner than later. When he does, he will without doubt continue doing what he does best: banging in goals from every angle!