Promes: Growing up helped me return to my beloved Ajax

When, at the aged of just 16, Quincy Promes was told he was surplus to requirements at Ajax, he could understandably never have imagined that he would one day be back — and in some style, too. But today that is certainly the case and he would be continuing to prove it on the pitch as well if it wasn’t for the current coronavirus crisis.

Quincy described the rejection he endured with the Sons of the Gods as

“without doubt one of worst days of my career. My world collapsed on that one day”.

He later recorded that his departure from the Johan Cruijff ArenA was down to his poor behaviour — on and off the pitch. Undeterred, the attacker continued his development and through a circuitous route that included spells at Twente, Go Ahead Eagles, Spartak Moscow and Sevilla,  he returned to the Amsterdam giants in June last year in a £15million, five-year deal.

Now, as the speedy left-winger, 28, contends with the lockdown imposed since the Covid-19 pandemic, he has taken time to reflect on his career to date. Speaking to the club’s official website, he said that it was a turbulent time at home as well as at Ajax when he was axed as a young teenager.

Promes, who has earned 43 international caps for Holland, said:

“Until that moment, everything had been going well, but when my parents split up, I had a hard time. The whole picture was messed up. I lived with my mother, moved from neighbourhood to neighbourhood, made lots of the wrong kind of friends, and was generally in a bit of a tornado.

“At first, everything was stable and calm, and then all at once, all of that was gone. Because of that, I became impossible to handle at Ajax. I’m not blaming my departure from Ajax on that, but it was certainly a factor. And looking back, it was good that I got sent away by Ajax at that moment.”

He went on to admit that leaving Ajax changed him as a person:

“I suddenly realised what it was like to no longer be an Ajacied (Ajax player). I had played at the best youth academy of the Netherlands, we would get picked up by a bus and we had the best facilities. At that moment, that felt normal.

“But if suddenly you get put on a different track, then you realise how good you had it. When I left, I had a survivor’s mentality to get back on top. That’s why I’m an international now. It’s strange for me to see where the others from the team have ended up. There are lots of guys from that time who were more talented than I was, but football is more than just talent.”