At a sun-drenched Toekomst sports complex, all Ajax players and staff posed for photographs. During the annual press photo day, the team picture and individual photos were taken. For several players, this annual session has simply become routine. On the other hand, the eighth row consisted mostly of rookies. Among others, Joël Veltman appeared on the team photo for the first time.
It was something of a puzzle, but the ideal layout of the team picture was finally found. Just like every year, team manager David Endt and press & communications manager Miel Brinkhuis decided on the desired layout for the picture. Several issues are taken into consideration. Logically, the key players are all in the first row, although sponsor considerations make it important that the first row consists of players who wear adidas boots. The keepers and staff members need to be fit into the picture appropriately, considering their different attire.
The last row is mostly where the young guys are. Therefore, this morning, Stefano Denswil, Joël Veltman and the tall Mitchell Dijks find themselves in the back row. It’s a new chapter for Veltman, as he makes his debut in the selection. “I’ve been to my first training camp, made my unofficial debut in Ajax 1, and made by debut in the ArenA. This is also a great moment, now that I’m on the official team picture. Now I’m waiting to make my official debut”, said the 20 year old defender.
Days after Christian Eriksen’s return, Tuesday, July 24 was the ideal day to take the team picture. Shortly before the departure for training camp in England, the deadline for presentation guides and program books is already approaching. It therefore happened that Maarten Stekelenburg was still in the presentation guide that Voetbal International showed off, although at the time he had already left for AS Roma. Dmitry Bulykin and Jasper Cillessen’s absence from the 2011 picture was due to their late joining of the team in Amsterdam.
This year, players will undoubtedly be loaned out, sold or bought before September 1. In addition to that, the rookies also need to definitively earn their spot in the A-selection. But the 29 players who were photographed on Tuesday are secure in this knowledge: for one whole year, they will have a spot on the official team poster. Nothing will change that.