Ajax has won its first practice match on Saturday, defeating SV Huizen 1-1. At De Wolfskamer sportpark, Davy Klaassen, Siem de Jong and Viktor Fischer scored. Stefano Denswil, Sven Nieuwpoort and Mitchell Dijks all made their official debut in Ajax 1, just as Fischer did.
With just four practices behind them, Ajax kicked off in De Wolfskamer sportpark. Compared with successful past seasons, the national champions featured familiar faces Toby Alderweireld, Kenneth Vermeer, Vurnon Anita and Siem de Jong. These steady forces from the 2011-2012 championship team will be reinforced by, among others, Daley Blind, Jan Vertonghen and Ricardo van Rhijn on Monday. Theo Janssen will also join the group for practice on Monday. The left footed player has now fully recovered from nose surgery. After the training camp at De Lutte, former European Championship players Gregory van der Wiel, Christian Eriksen en Lasse Schöne will join Frank de Boer’s selection.
By necessity, and at the same time according to Ajax philosophy, up and coming Ajax talent had a chance to show what they could do in Huizen. Stefano Denswil was probably the most surprising starting player in Ajax’s brand new red and white home jersey. The central defender was placed next to Alderweireld and thus made his official Ajax 1 debut. Ruben Ligeon, Dico Koppers and Aras Özbiliz were among the youngest starting players. Amsterdam’s starting team was led by captain De Jong, who will perhaps be the captain for the rest of the season, should Jan Vertonghen leave. “But if Vertonghen reports to the team on Monday, he’ll be the one wearing the captain’s band”, said Frank de Boer, ending the discussion about which player would wear the band, and a (possible) transfer for the Belgian.
Ajax made a false start in Huizen, after going down 1-0 after fifteen minutes. Under pressure from Omar Limon, Denswil unluckily worked the ball past his own keeper Vermeer with a slide: 1-0. This score held until shortly after the break. Ajax made a bleak impression in the first half. Opportunities from Thulani Serero and Kolbeinn Sigthórsson remained unconverted. Huizen keeper Brian Willemse appeared to be a diamond in the rough. “The keeper had his best day so far”, commented De Boer on Willemse’s performance. “He made one great save after another. But we were able to do better than we had in the first half.”
The Ajax coach amended his selection in eight areas after the break. The 1-0 deficit still needed to be erased, after all. This time, wing defenders Mitchell Dijks and Sven Nieuwpoort, plus midfielder Viktor Fischer, made their official debut in Ajax’s first team. De Boer: “The young guys did really well.” The coach, rightfully, didn’t blame Denswil for his mistake which put SV Huizen in the 1-0 lead. An own goal is part of the learning process. De Boer, with a wink: “So now he has one of those in his career, it’s done.”
Substitute Davy Klaassen tied the score seven minutes after the break. On a pass from Dijks, Klaassen managed to defeat Willemse: 1-1. KIaassen took the honours for Sigthórsson. The tying goal came as a hard blow for Huizen, as the score quickly became 1-3 within ten minutes of the tying goal. In the end, Ajax easily defeated the top amateurs from the Saturday top A class thanks to a long distance shot from Siem de Jong (1-2) plus a goal from Fischer.
After the pitiful first fifteen minutes of the second half, Tijs Schipper’s team lost steam very fast. Ajax pretty much ran the show in the last half hour. Keeper Cillessen didn’t have much to do. But he experienced a personal high note when he received the captain’s band after Siem de Jong’s substitution. Denswil, Koppers and Ebecilio were substituted in the break, but returned in the second half.
Jody Lukoki had the chance to make the score 1-4 during the closing minutes. The winger wasn’t able to crown his rush with a goal; he was blocked by substitute keeper Frank Boor. On Monday, Ajax trains at SV De Lutte. This training camp will have two highlights: practice duels against Oldenzaal (Wednesday) and FC Emmen on Saturday. “This match concluded the first part of the practice season. They’ve trained well”, decided Frank de Boer at De Wolfskamer. “Now we need to get stronger. And develop ourselves further.”
Watch Ajax TV for a summary of SV Huizen – Ajax, and reactions from Frank de Boer, Siem de Jong and Viktor Fischer