Many of the Ajax personnel came to the dressing room area of the Amsterdam ArenA on Tuesday. The renewed players' area, normally only accessible by players and coaches, was reopened.
The entire dressing room area in Ajax's stadium has undergone a metamorphosis. Pictures of championship teams decorate the walls. All Ajax internationals have their portraits there, pictures of all the trophies Ajax have won over the years can be seen and red and white dressing room doors give the area an added Ajax look and feel.
,,If players see this, they are going to be proud to play here, or against Ajax'', said former player and current youth coach Frank de Boer. ,,You hardly believe your eyes when you see all this.’’ De Boer knows what an effect all this can have on opposing playersl. ,,When you see all these portraits of the internationals and of the trophies, something happens inside your head.'' And, proudly: ,,It's also an impression of all the things I have won with Ajax.''
Across from the galery of Ajax players for Holland, is the coaches' office. Near the entrance is a list of all the Ajax coaches in the club's history. The long list begins with John Kirwan, the first coach in 1910. Legends Jack Reynolds and Rinus Michels feature and the list ends with current coach Henk ten Cate. Where first De Boer saw himself in the gallery with Holland internationals, now Ten Cate finds himself in impressive company.
Soon, Sonny Silooy, Simon Tahamata, John van den Brom and Arnold Mühren, all former players and current youth coaches, make their rounds through the stadium corridors. They all go and look for pictures from their own glory days. Tahamata can hardly believe it when Silooy proudly shows him all the trophies he has won as a player for Ajax. Silooy, with a wink to his fellow coach Tahamata: ,,Now will you take me seriously?’’
Technical advisor Piet Keizer and directors Jeroen Slop, Maarten Fontein and Martin van Geel also behold the results of the months-long refurbishing. Next to all the names and pictures in the corridors, the Ajax management have placed signs with the five club values of Ajax on places in the stadium and youth complex 'De Toekomst'. The five values stand for the goals Ajax want to reach, to return once again to the glory days of the most successful club in Holland.