John Comitis, CEO of Ajax Cape Town, is in Holland for a visit to Ajax Amsterdams and to have meetings with the managing board of the club. Comitis was still very excited about the fact that his country South-Africa was awarded the World Cup of 2010. ,,This reflects on the club, the country and in fact the whole continent of Africa'', says the managing director from Cape Town.
,,South-Africa being awarded the organisation of the World Cup 2010 is the most important achievement ever in South-African sports. The implications are huge, says John Comitis. ,,This is a great boost for the economy of our country and the rest of Africa. The infrastructure in South-Africa will improve greatly. This is a part of the Renaissance of South-Africa that was started by our president Mbeki.
The CEO of Ajax Cape Town envisions many benefits for his own club. ,,The infrastructure in South-African football is underdeveloped. Now the government can take part in improving it. Ajax Cape Town play in a rugby stadium. This is a first step toward our own stadium, in co-operation with the city. And this will be the case for every city with a top-flight football club.''
Ajax Cape Town is three to four years ahead of other clubs in terms of infrastructure and professionalism, Comitis argues. ,,We are thinking like a global club. Thanks to Ajax we follow the developments in Europe and that will only accelerate our growth. Next season we'll play in the African Champions League, as we will finished in second place at the lowest. We have the most efficient youth development programme in South-Africa, and maybe in the whole of Africa, thanks to the partnership with Ajax Amsterdam. Ajax Cape Town spend more on their youth development than Ajax Amsterdam; there is still much to do and we see this as the way of the future. In Cape Town we work completely according to the Ajax philosophy. Our technical people have gained their knowledge in Europe and the whole club plays 3-4-3. Ajax Cape Town are very active in scouting for young talent. We recruit in the whole country and elsewhere on the continent. Just as in Amsterdam we also work with the TIPS method.
In Amsterdam the good work that has been done in the youth programme of the ‘Urban Warriors’ is recognised. Technical director Louis van Gaal visited Cape Town a while ago and some South-African talents caught his expert eye. ,,Three players of our Under 17's are seen by Louis as possibilities’’, the South-African says proudly. ,,We try to bring players to Amsterdam. As a club we are only four years old and already you can see the effect of the Ajax-training.’’
The first team of Ajax Cape Town has also improved greatly. Last season the side was on the brink of relegation, this year the team plays for the top spots. Ajax Cape Town only have Kaiser Chiefs leading them in the league table. ,,We have added a few experienced Congolese players to the squad'', Comitis explains. ,,And at the same time we decided that some other players were getting 'stale' and we added players from the youth teams.’’ Another reason for the success of the team is coach Gordon Igesund. ,,He made a team champions three times in the last five years’’, Comitis says. ,,Gordon was asked to coach the national team but he wants to finish his job at Ajax. He will be our coach for three more years. His philosophy goes well with our club.’’
John Comitis has also come to Holland to talk with the managing board about a visit of the first team of Ajax Amsterdam to Cape Town. ,,I hope to see them in South-Africa, maybe for a training camp during the winter break. If any supporters join the team, they can see how beautiful South-Africa is.’’ A visit of Ajax Cape Town to Amsterdam is also in the cards. ,,I promised our first team that I would take them to Amsterdam if they win the title. It would be nice to spned a week in Holland and get a chance to see the Amsterdam Tournament.’’