Turkey Diary (8): Enthusiastic public

Turkey Diary (8): Enthusiastic public

Ajax’s Turkey training camp is almost over. Frank de Boer’s team will close the week of training with a friendly match against Galatasaray, in the event of the opening of the new stadium: the Turk Telekom Arena.

In Ali Sami Yen’s press room, in Galatasaray’s old stadium, Frank de Boer answers questions from the Dutch and Turkish press. A Turkish reporter calls the Galatasaray – Ajax match day a ‘historic day’. It’s also a special occasion for de Boer. “We’re honoured to open the new Galatasaray stadium. There’s a lot of history in the old stadium. It’s important to keep that in mind, while you move forward.”

De Boer played for the Turkish club from Istanbul in 2003. “I know how amazing the crowd can be”, he says. “I remember that very well, the public’s enthusiasm.” One of his best memories during his time with Galatasaray is his first warm up in the stadium. “During the warm up, the name of the new player was shown on one side of the stadium. Then you go over there and make some crazy moves. Then, you’re called to the other side of the stadium. You’re constantly running back and forth”, he recalls with a smile. “But it’s really an honour.”

On Saturday evening, Ajax closes its week long training camp with the friendly match against Galatasary, in the event of the new stadium’s opening. “I’ve only seen the stadium in pictures”, says de Boer. “It looks beautiful, and a lot like the ArenA.”

Galatasaray – Ajax begins on Saturday evening at 8.45p.m. (7.45p.m. Dutch time) in the Turk Telekom Arena. The match can be seen on Eredivisie Live.

Follow the highlights on @Official_Ajax, Ajax’s official Twitter account!