During the traditional Trophy Night last week, Damon Mirani was honoured as the Toekomst’s Talent of the Year. At the Toekomst, the 17 year old from Monnickendam received the Sjaak Swart Trophy from Wim Jonk (technical heart) and Theo van Duivenbode (board of directors). The right-footed central defender was visibly, and audibly, honoured with being chosen.
Mirani has only been part of Ajax’s youth academy for the past season. The talented defender and international with the Dutch under 17 team traded the FC Volendam youth academy for Ajax’s after the 2011-2012 season. Mirani started playing the VV Monnickendam’s F8 team.
“This is a great crown on the season”, says the Ajax player at the Toekomst. In winning this prize, Mirani follows in the footsteps of Mickey van der Hart and Davy Klaassen, the last two Talents of the Year from the Toekomst, before him. Both are now part of Frank de Boer’s A-selection. Before them, then- youth players Daley Blind, Wesley Sneijder and Urby Emanuelson were also honoured with the title.
“I should make it, too”, says Mirani, on the evening which traditionally marks the end of the youth season. “I need to have that expectation of myself. I always go for the highest there is to achieve. I always want to reach for the top. I learned that at home. Next year I’m going to the A-juniors, and I’d love to play in A1. And if it’s possible, maybe I’d even like to play some matches with Jong Ajax.”
According to van Duivenbode and Jonk, Mirani, in addition to being a top talent, also wins the personal award for adjusting to the Toekomst so quickly. The talented defender has undergone a thunderous development under the wing of his coach Orlando Trustfull. “At his age, Damon is a top athlete”, says Trustfull about his pupil, who he will once again coach next year in the A1 team. “For example, he’s very conscientious of his nutrition. Mirani is aware that he needs to show what he can do every single day; in short, he’s also aware of what’s required of a professional. The question isn’t whether or not he has the potential to reach his goal, but if it will happen. But Damon will never have to reproach himself of anything.”