Women of Ajax
The Hoofdklasse was the top level of amateur women’s football competitions contested in the Netherlands since the 1970s.
With the sport becoming an Olympic event in 1996 and hundreds of thousands of tickets being sold for the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup, women’s football saw an increase in popularity during the 1990s.
A year after their men's team missed the world cup, Ajax nearly makes the Champions League Final, and the Dutch women are headed to the world cup semis.
Football is more fun to watch with the Dutch involved. Glad they're back.
— Ryan Clarke (@RyanAClarke) June 29, 2019
The Royal Dutch Football Association (KNVB) felt compelled to take action because the Netherlands women’s national football team was unable to qualify for important competitions like the FIFA Women’s World Cup, UEFA Women’s Euros, or Olympic Games, and the most talented female players were leaving for Germany or other nations with professional leagues.
A professional women’s league, the Eredivisie Vrouwen, was proposed by the KNVB in January 2007. Six clubs (ADO Den Haag, AZ, SC Heerenveen, FC Twente, FC Utrecht, and Willem II) were invited to participate in the league, which was formally announced by the KNVB on March 20, 2007, for three seasons.
The KNVB organised the league and provided a start-up subsidy, cost sharing, and technical assistance to the professional clubs.
In return, the professional clubs were expected to provide technical and medical staff, transport, training, and other facilities to their players.
Initially, the national team players were split among the six clubs, according to the league’s business plan. Additionally, the teams had to affiliate with an amateur team that would deploy injured players, backups, or young, talented players from the professional team.
In 5-8 years, it was intended to increase the league’s size from 6 to 10-12 clubs.
During the second part of the 2010–11 season, on February 22, 2011, the League (Stichting Eredivisie Vrouwen, or SEV), the KNVB, and the teams met to examine potential league improvements.
According to a KNVB statement, in order to keep the league with eight teams for the upcoming season, matchdays would change from Thursdays to Fridays, clubs’ relationships with their affiliated amateur clubs would change, and the league’s financial conditions would be discussed at a later meeting.
As of August 30, 2011, the KNVB and its Belgian counterpart (KBVB) made a plan to unite their respective women’s professional leagues into a single BeNe League, it was to be the Eredivisie’s final season.
The KBVB approved the BeNe Lague on December 10, 2010, and the KNVB decided to suspend funding the Eredivisie Vrouwen for the following three years two days later.
The BeNe League was launched by the KNVB on February 13, 2012, and UEFA gave its approval on March 23, 2012. The first season of the new league was in 2012–2013.
Eight clubs participated in the 2016–17 season after Achilles ’29 were accepted as newcomers on June 16, 2016.
Katja Snoeijs led the team in scoring with 21 goals as Ajax won the championship for the first time.
The group was established in 2012 and has since grown to be among the best women’s football groups in the nation. The highest level of women’s football in the Netherlands is the Eredivisie Vrouwen, where Ajax Women competes.
The team is renowned for its offensive style of play and goal-scoring prowess. Dutch internationals like Lieke Martens, Vivianne Miedema, and Danille van de Donk are part of the outstanding group at Ajax Women. Additionally, the team features a number of young players who are regarded as some of the most talented players in Dutch football.
Ajax Women has won several titles in recent years, including the Eredivisie Vrouwen in 2018 and 2019. The team has also reached the final of the KNVB Cup, the Dutch national cup competition, on multiple occasions.
Off the field, Ajax Women is known for its commitment to promoting women’s soccer and empowering young girls to play the sport. The team has a strong youth academy and regularly hosts clinics and events to encourage girls to get involved in soccer. Overall, Ajax Women is a talented and successful team that is making a significant impact on women’s soccer in the Netherlands and beyond.
Despite winning the Eredivisie in 2023, Amsterdam’s women’s team didn’t receive a public celebration in the Dutch capital on Monday because club management worry that the men’s team’s disappointing season will elicit a negative reaction.
The successful women’s team had been invited by Amsterdam mayor Femke Halsema to participate in a typical balcony ceremony at the city’s well-known Leidseplein square, but Ajax denied the invitation, sparking a considerable protest.
Congratulations on your debut, girls! ❤️ pic.twitter.com/KsW867ZUMA
— Ajax Vrouwen (@AjaxVrouwen) September 4, 2023