Ajax and Japanese top side Sagan Tosu have signed a three-year partnership today. The Japanese club intends to improve their youth academy with support from Ajax.
Development and commercial activities
The Ajax Coaching Academy (ACA) will offer Sagan Tosu support in areas such as organisation of the academy and the development of coaches and players. Moreover, both parties will explore the opportunities for commercial activities. Ajax earlier announced a partnership with Chinese club Guangzhou R&F FC.
Via the specially founded ACA, Ajax aim to share their knowledge of developing a youth academy on a global level and exclusively. The club therefore strives to initiate similar partnerships on multiple continents. The ACA has developed an online platform dedicated to these collaborations: www.ajaxcoachingacademy.com.
Two types of programs
In the last two years, the ACA has developed two types of programs. A Partnership Program with Guangzhou R&F FC started on January 1st of this year. Now, Ajax have the opportunity to launch a Consultancy Program in Japan. This means that the ACA will travel to Japan multiple times a year to offer support to the Sagan Tosu academy.
Minoru Takehara, President of Sagan Tosu: “We are delighted to have signed a long-term partnership with the Ajax Coaching Academy, a very-well respected partner in coaching and developing academies. Sagan Tosu aim to further develop as a club by, among other things, improving the youth academy. With this partnership, we are able to implement Ajax’ renowned philosophy and methods to improve the level of our young players. Our ultimate goal is to extend this collaboration in the future and to see some of our youth products move to a European top club like AFC Ajax.”
Edwin van der Sar, AFC Ajax CEO: “This is a new and important step for Ajax in Asia. We intended for a partnership with a Japanese club through the ACA and now we have realised that. Sagan Tosu was founded in 1997, which makes it the youngest club in the Japanese J.League. Last season they finished eighth in the Asia’s best regarded competition. We see a large potential for growth at this club and they have put their faith in us to help them further develop their club, mainly the youth academy. This partnership also has a commercial aspect to it. After the recent deal in China, this is another great step for Ajax and the ACA.”