Amsterdam derby delights crowd

The weather was nice and Sportpark Sloten in Amsterdam, where Ajax played the first friendly match of the season against Blauw Wit, was crowded. It does not happen often that Ajax play against another club from Amsterdam. Despite the different location, it felt like a home match. The fans saw Ajax score eleven times and the home side none. Sonck and Boschker, Ajax's two new players, both played in the second half.

Koeman made, as usual at the start of the preseason, two line-ups, one for the first half and one for the second. Because Heitinga, O´Brien and Sikora could not play due to injuries, De Jong and Van Damme played both halves. Maarten Stekelenburg did not see action. New players Sonck and Boschker showed their skills in the second half.

Koeman let Ajax play in 3-4-3. The coach had indicated at the end of last season that he wanted to play that system against lesser opponents. The preseason is a good time to experiment. Nigel de Jong moved to midfield because of this new system.

Litmanen and Boukhari put on a show for the fans in the first half. They often found each other with subtle lobs and back-heel passes. Litmanen took care of the first goal of the match. Ibrahimovic ran into the box and tripped over an opponent's foot. The referee awarded a penalty, that was converted by Litmanen. It was high time too, as the match was already in the fifteenth minute.

Ajax understood that the fans wanted goals and made it 0-3 within five minutes. Ibrahimovic scored three times in a row, a genuine hattrick. His third was a real beauty. Litmanen lobbed to the Swede who freed himself on the left side of the box, turned and fired. Sneijder's free kick was also a powerful effort and the ball ended up on the goalpost. Van der Gun got there first to head in the rebound.

In the second half new players came on for Ajax. Wamberto finally got to play again. The Brazilian missed most of last season with an injury. He was eager and tried very hard to score, but he didn't succeed at that yet. Bosckher got his first minutes in the Ajax shirt and showed that Ajax did well to bring him in the team.

All eyes were focussed on Wesley Sonck, the Belgian who scored so often in his home country. He worked hard and rewarded his effort by scoring twice. It was strange for Sonck to play with two wingers. ,,I have to get the feeling how it is to play with wingers. I am used to playing with a strong forward, with me playing around him. I hope to have a good preparation, so I get time to adjust. It is also important that I feel good in this environment, with an own home and my family. The rest will take care of itself. And despite that I have been a professional player for six years, I felt some tension, especially with my first touch. That is because the level of play here is higher and I don't know the system yet. But despite that I enjoyed myself today.”

Ronald Koeman was pleased with his new striker. ,,We have been working for a week and I have a positive impression of him. He will have to get used to our way of playing. We will play him as the deepest striker and also together with Ibrahimovic. Then we will see what is best for the team.”

The coach was also pleased with the first week of the preseason. ,,We trained ten times in the first week and today we capped that of with a match. Playing a game is always different from a training. And I am happy with what I saw the first week, and with what I saw today.''

Ajax leave on Monday July 14 to De Lutte, where they will stay in a training camp for the entire week. The next match of the preseason is Monday evening. The opponent wil be local side De Lutte FC.