‘Great to be back’

‘Great to be back’

Christian Eriksen was one of the crowd favourites during Ajax’s opening training at de Toekomst. The Danish midfielder returned refreshed from his holidays on Monday. “It’s great to be back”, said Eriksen after his first – widely attended – Ajax training of the 2012-2013 season.

During the summer holidays, one thing is certain: when Ajax holds a public training, it’s overrun with enthusiastic Ajax fans. Early in the 2012 school holidays, thing were no different for Eriksen’s first training. The area around the Toekomst’s main field was jammed with fans, and the training was therefore held on that main field due to this high attendance.

The fans witnessed a relatively calm practice. One and a half days after the easy win against Celtic (4-0), the focus was on passing, kicking and position play. In addition to Eriksen, another young Dane was in the spotlight. In Viktor Fischer’s debut match at the Amsterdam ArenA, he was crowned Ajax Player of the Match. The A-junior visibly enjoyed the aftermath of his strong performance against the Scots.

Theo Janssen trained inside on Monday. The midfielder is recovering from a calf injury. Mats Rits trained on a side field with physiotherapist Pim van Dord. The Belgian Ajax player is suffering from a knee injury, Nicolai Boilesen and Derk Boerrigter trained for the full ninety minutes with Frank de Boer’s big group of fit players
The smile on Eriksen’s face was rivaled only by the one on Fischer’s face. The Danish international spent his holidays in Italy and the Seychelles. “Three weeks is enough to become fit again”, said Eriksen after signing several autographs. “Now it’s just a question of getting into a rhythm again. I noticed that today during the training. Feeling for football and for the ball comes back automatically.” With a smile: “That feeling doesn’t go away.”

“It’s great to see the guys again today”, said Eriksen, the last Ajax player to re-join Frank de Boer’s selection after his holidays. Eriksen was, among others, at the European Championships when the Danish team defeated the Dutch. “We played well as a team. Obviously, it feels great to defeat the Netherlands.”

Eriksen returned just in time for Ajax’s upcoming training camp in England. After travelling on Thursday, two practice matches await against Southampton (Saturday) and Norwich City (Tuesday), in addition to several trainings. The Danish player will be phased in slowly. It remains to be seen how much playing time Eriksen will get in England. “I’ll be hearing this afternoon how my schedule will be built up. I hope to play in the August 5th match against PSV for the Johan Cruijff Plate.”