Jong Ajax league winners – where are they now?

Jong Ajax

As the first reserve team to do so, Jong Ajax won the Eerste Divisie at the conclusion of the 2017–2018 season with a 2-1 victory over MVV Maastricht. I take a look at how the members of Jong Ajax’s 2017–2018 squad who made more than twenty appearances are doing now.

Jong Ajax’s captain and leader, LΓ©on Bergsma, left the club without ever playing for the first team despite spending his entire youth career there, trading Amsterdam for Alkmaar in the summer after the season. Bergsma has spent the majority of his time with Jong AZ in the Eerste Divisie since making the switch, though the 22-year-old has made a few fleeting appearances for the first team in league and cup play.

Danilho Doekhi agreed to sign a four-year contract with Eredivisie team Vitesse Arnhem. Doekhi has managed to make a number of additional appearances as well as a role in the KNBV Cup despite initially starting for Vitesse II and then getting sent off at the conclusion of his first league match for the first team. Overall, he has been somewhat restrained, most recently by a minor knock, but prior to that, he was suspended once more for receiving a second red card.

The right-sided player, Noussair Mazroui was indefinitely promoted to the first team after dominating in the first half of the season. Since then, he has advanced significantly and become the side’s top choice for right back. For the first time in thirteen years, Ajax has advanced to the knockout stages of the competition thanks to his goals in the Champions League this season.

Toward the end of the campaign, it was difficult to overlook Azor Matusiwa’s role as a tenacious midfielder in the title victory. Injury setbacks prevented the 20-year-old from having a strong start to the year, and he only made three appearances in the Keuken Kampion Divisie before signing a six-month loan deal with De Graafschap this month.

After Bergsma left, Dani de Wit assumed the captain’s role as one of the season’s most outstanding performers. De Wit has struggled to find a place on either the first or second team this season, frequently being named to Ajax’s bench but having little chance to see much action while also proving too talented for the Eerste Divisie. A high point for the midfielder, though, must be his substitution against Bayern Munich in the Champions League, demonstrating the club’s faith in the 21-year-old.

A free transfer to PEC Zwolle was finalized and Zian Flemming was putting an end to his lengthy absence from the first team while playing for Amsterdam. Although he is contributing fewer goals than he did during his youth career, the attacking midfielder has established himself in Zwolle’s reorganized team and is starting to display the talent that injuries and setbacks frequently prevented him from doing.

Despite Teun Bijleveld having a significant part to play in the Jong Ajax team’s championship-winning campaign, Bijleveld has stayed put and is still an important member of the squad. Although he has grown in stature within the squad, he has yet to play for the first team and is not expected to any time soon.

Dennis Johnsen was disappointed to not be given any opportunities in the first team following his breakout campaign. Despite this, he maintained his form, and recently agreed to a loan switch back to his old team Heerenveen after demonstrating that he was ready to advance during the first half of the season.

Despite becoming a key player toward the end of last year, Che Nunnely has only made a limited number of appearances so far this season. For Jong Ajax, he has only been able to play for the full ninety minutes twice this season, and when he does play, he frequently comes off the bench.

Matteo Cassiera, the Colombian striker earned a loan move to Groningen after a prolific season in which he scored eighteen league goals in an effort to show that he had a future at Ajax. After a disappointing first half of the season, which led to Groningen canceling Cassiera’s loan early, any questions the Amsterdammers may have had about Cassiera have likely been clarified. Currently, he is on loan at Racing Club of Argentina.

Kaj Sierhuis spent the first half of the season as Jong Ajax’s primary striker. He scored four goals in thirteen games, earning the 20-year-old a loan move to Groningen of the Eredivisie in January. First team opportunities were scarce because Dolberg, Huntelaar, and occasionally Tadi were all ahead of him in the Johan Cruijff ArenA’s pecking order. Sierhuis will be hoping to make an impression at the Euroborg in case any of them move on in the summer.


The varying outcomes of these young Eerste Divisie champions serve as both encouraging examples and cautionary tales for current Jong Ajax players about what the future may hold in the summer: making it into an Eredivisie side, lingering in the Eerste divisie with an old foe, or remaining on the periphery of the first team.