The first match after his return to Ajax left Van ’t Schip reasonably pleased, especially considering the short lead-up time. "You're always satisfied with three points", he said on Friday, the day after the match.
"When you look at what we've been able to do and then see it show up in the match, we can be happy. It wasn't quite the way we ultimately want it, but that's natural. We haven't been able to give that enough attention yet. Hopefully we can keep building with the training sessions and playing more matches."
Van ’t Schip found a good mindset in his team. "There was a good energy, everyone tried to stay close to each other. I think that, especially in the first half, we had some good attacks and there was a lot of effort to play forward. And also running forward, making deep runs to draw it open. That looked good."
Ar’Jany Martha made his debut for Ajax 1 against FC Volendam. The left-footer played ‘well’, said Van ’t Schip. "We also wanted some attacking impulse on that side, and he gives that. He's actually a right-winger, but converted to a left-back. He goes forward a lot and could have been a bit sharper in a couple of situations. But overall he did well, and we're actually really happy with that."
Van ’t Schip was still non-committal about whether Martha will start against Heerenveen on Sunday as well. "We need to look at how's doing after the match and how he feels. He already had a cramp after sixty minutes. That just shows it was a match with a lot of pressure for a few of the lads, and especially for Ar’Jany. It was his debut with Ajax 1, so of course that isn't unusual."
As a whole, Van ’t Schip is trying to monitor the physical fitness of his line up carefully. "The way the programme is now, we have a match every three or four days. With that, you get guys running on empty. For example Hlynsson is young lad who's played in the starting line-up three matches in a row now. It becomes important to make sure he stays fit. The season is still long, and you can either make a substitution on time, or give a match off and try someone else in that position. That way you get to see more players with a lot of matches in their legs."
Trio back to the training field
Van ’t Schip had more good news about three Ajax players resuming training on Friday. "Sosa, Forbs and Rensch joined today and trained with us. To the extent they'll be playing on Sunday, we'll have to see in the training tomorrow. We need to wait to see how everyone feels, including the guys who started against FC Volendam."
When asked, Van ’t Schip also went into the situation with Ahmetcan Kaplan, who is also making progress in his recovery. "He should be playing 45 minutes with Ajax U23 against Willem II on Monday. He's obviously been out for a while, but what I've seen from him made a good impression. He's a big guy, physically strong, and also comfortable on the ball. I'm curious how he'll play against Willem II."