Just before the start of first training on Tuesday morning, Mats Rits (17) signed a two year contract with Ajax. During preparations, he’ll join Frank de Boer’s selection, giving both the player and Ajax the chance to see how far he is. He’s already proven himself at the highest level with GBA. He’s even made it into their record books.
Prior to signing his first Ajax contract, the Belgian received a sheet of paper. With a proud face, he checked the press release, which would be sent out shortly afterwards. It’s a great moment, as he can see with his own eyes that he’s starting a new chapter in his young football career.
That Ajax chapter came close to starting two years ago, but at that time, the Belgian youth international thought he was too young to make a move to the Netherlands. After a few trial matches, Rits, who turns eighteen next month, decided not to come to the Toekomst. “I was only 15 years old, and I wanted to finish school. That’s why I chose GBA at the time. Fortunately, I now have another opportunity with Ajax”, he says in the Louis van Gaal Room at the Toekomst.
The Belgian’s decision to wait worked out well for him. On his sixteenth birthday, he signed a two year contract with the club, which is in the highest Belgian division. A few weeks before turning eighteen, he’s doing the same at Ajax. “This is a great moment for me. In Belgium, Ajax is a sort of football Mecca.”
Wrapped in his Ajax shirt with number 29, Rits goes back in time. On October 3, 2009, he made his debut in the GBA’s first squad. It was a legendary debut, which the attacking midfielder crowned with two goals. “I remember that day very well. I came in as a substitute after twenty minutes because a player was injured. I had to go in right away. Those two goals were incredible.” Is such a debut with Ajax in the cards? “That would be great, but I don’t think so. Scoring two goals in your debut is pretty unique. Although it would be nice, of course.”
An interview with Rits can be seen on Ajax TV from Tuesday afternoon.