Ajax arrived at Kiev Borispol Airport on Monday afternoon. Martin Jol’s 20 man selection is preparing for their first match against Dinamo Kiev. Ajax must defeat the Ukrainians in two matches in order to qualify for the Champions League tournament.
Ajax travelled to Kiev in three hours on AeroSvit Ukrainian Airlines Flight 7D5552, on a Boeing 737-400. The team flew from Schiphol. Roly Bonevacia is one of the most notable faces in the Ajax selection. The midfielder made his official Ajax debut on Saturday during the team’s 4-2 victory at home against Vitesse. A new football adventure awaits the young Ajax player in the Ukraine. Luis Suarez is also part of the selection. The Uruguayan player sat out his last competition match suspension last Saturday.
Suarez and latest acquisition Mounir El Hamdaoui may very well play together for the first time against Dinamo Kiev. They would be a force to be reckoned with, especially as football fireworks aren’t out of the question. Eyong Enoh met his Ajax colleagues on Ukrainian soil. The Cameroon native arrived in Kiev shortly after his teammates, travelling from Africa via Paris. Ajax is staying in the Kiev Hyatt Hotel.
Ajax’s sponsors and a handful of supporters travelled on the Ajax flight. Ajax’s head sponsor, AEGON, attracted the most attention with two of their guests. Former top skaters Barbara de Loor (born in Amsterdam) and Renate Groenewold will witness Ajax’s performance in Kiev. Former Ajax players Aron Winter and Winston Bogarde also travelled with Ajax to Eastern Europe.
Urby Emanuelson, Siem de Jong and Vurnon Anita will play in the Ukraine for the second time in a week. Last week, De Jong made his debut on the Dutch national team in Donetsk. Emanuelson and Anita played a regular interland against the Ukraine, with Dinamo Kiev star Andrei Shevchenko. The former AC Milan and Chelsea FC player is by far the most famous player with Ajax’s opponent.
The (former) top skaters will likely already see Ajax in action tonight. From 6.30p.m., Ajax will train for the last time in Valery Lobanovsky Stadium. A press conference will be held beforehand, with Martin Jol and captain Luis Suarez. After the conference, and the training session afterwards, the focus will be solely on Dinamo Kiev.
Dinamo Kiev – Ajax’s first meeting in the Champions League play-offs will start at 8.45 p.m. Dutch time. Ukrainian time is one hour later. The clubs will meet again for the return match in the Amsterdam ArenA on Wednesday, August 25. Ajax-Dinamo Kiev will start at 8.45p.m. Tickets are still available for this important return match. Free sales are in effect, no Club Card is needed.