In April 2020, Ajax decided to start an intensive collaboration with Sharjah F.C. in order to further develop the club’s youth academy on location. Subsequently, at the end of 2021, the opportunity was seized to set up the Ajax Academy Dubai via Only4Stars with one clear goal in mind: to train youth via the Ajax philosophy.
The academy in Dubai has become a great success, which is why Ajax has decided to reward three talented coaches for their strong development. Trainer Ronald de Boer remains committed to the project and welcomes the three new coaches in Dubai.
Groen, Brouwer and Kraaibeek have all walked their own path, in which Ajax played a major role. The three trainers are UEFA certified and have taken Ajax courses in Amsterdam. During this training, all three became acquainted with the organization and working methods at Ajax. In addition, as Ajax Football School coaches, they have gained optimal knowledge about the Ajax philosophy and how it is applied in practice. In the United Arab Emirates, the talented coaches can apply this knowledge within an international Ajax project.
The fact that the coaches have now been offered this opportunity fits in completely with Ajax's working method and philosophy. Head of Education Ajax Coaching Academy Bart Logchies: "At Ajax we want to make a difference by educating real Ajax experts who can transfer the knowledge to different target groups, such as coaches and players. It is great to see that talent is brought to fruition through Ajax Education Programs and is given the opportunity to work for projects within the club, such as now in Dubai."
Their coaching journeys
The coaches went through an instructive process to ultimately earn this great opportunity. For example, Groen followed the UEFA C Education Program and was also able to follow the UEFA B Education Program through an internship at Vitesse. After the 26-year-old coach had completed his training, the coach stayed with Vitesse for two more seasons. "After my time at Vitesse, I was given the opportunity to participate in the Ajax Technical Selection Day. In the end I was selected, so that I was allowed to work at the Ajax Football School that year", says Groen. At the football school, the talented coach learned to transfer the Ajax vision to talented football players who were on trial at Ajax. "After one year at the Ajax Football School, I was asked to go to Dubai for the Ajax Coaching Academy."
Brouwer followed a similar trajectory. He obtained the UEFA C Education Program in his third year of coaching, after which the twenty-year-old coach did an internship at the O15-1 of the Koninklijke HFC, a partner club of Ajax. "In addition, I was head coach of the O9 selection of Koninklijke HFC and I did an internship at the Ajax Football School", he says. Kraaibeek made his first steps in his young coaching career in Austria. In addition, just like Groen and Brouwer, he went through the Ajax Education Program, where he was introduced to the Ajax philosophy.
Delighted and ambitious
The trainers have therefore acquired knowledge of the organization and working methods of the departments within the club via the 1* Ajax Education Program (gaining knowledge of the organization and working methods of the departments within the club), the 2* Ajax Education Program (deepening on topics from the 1* training) and/or the Ajax Football School in the viewer worked at the Amsterdam club, which now gives them the opportunity to develop further in Dubai. Groen, Brouwer and Kraaibeek are very pleased with the next step in their career. "We are going to develop the players in the way we want at Ajax. Think of the core values of Ajax that we will apply as a trainer to give the children in Dubai the same thoughts as the football players in Amsterdam", says Groen.
"We are very happy with the confidence Ajax has in us and look forward to providing training in a different culture and language", Kraaibeek and Brouwer add. "It is a very nice opportunity to develop and show ourselves in Dubai. We are very much looking forward to embarking on this fantastic adventure."
Groen would like to develop further in creating behavioral change in players, something he learned during the Ajax training. "We want to teach the players something new every day."
Would you like to know more about the Ajax Academy Dubai or would you like to sign up for the training sessions? Then visit the website here. Would you like to be kept informed about the Education Programs and activities of the Ajax Coaching Academy? Then sign up here.