“This is a team achievement, the players, the staff and medical staff. The fact that we’re on top again is a fantastic achievement. Ajax deserves to be champion.” Frank de Boer had few words shortly after the championship match at Heracles Almelo (1-1) to praise Ajax’s latest championship win.
The last sounds of the Almelo fighting songs had barely been extinguished from the Polman Stadium. ‘That’s possible in Almelo’, resounded several times from the speakers. On the artificial turf, the Ajax selection celebrated its championship. Captain Siem de Jong had, shortly before, received the championship trophy on the hastily erected podium. Confetti swirled through the air. Indeed, this would only have been possible in Almelo, at a Heracles away match.
“We need to forget this championship match and just be super proud of this achievement”, said champion coach De Boer (4 national titles, 3,5 coaching) in the full press room of Polman Stadium. The Ajax coach new from experience which strength and tension could be released before and during a deciding championship match. De Boer wasn’t surprised at his team’s play, which lacked sparkle. “It was calm in the locker room beforehand; I think that they guys were tense. In the end, the championship was at stake.” The fact that the away match ended up in a tie was even less surprising. De Boer recalled Ajax’s 1990 championship match against NEC. Back then, the two clubs played to a tie. “Heracles only needed one point today, too. In that respect, I congratulate the club for remaining in the Eredivisie.”
Sunday’s mission was thus accomplished in Almelo. Record champion Ajax won its 33rd national title in club history and wrote (club) history with four championships in a row. De Boer is the first Eredivisie coach with that achievement. “Don’t forget we have many young players this season”, continued De Boer, analyzing the 2013-2014 championship year. “A guy like Stefano Denswil played a lot, just like Joël Veltman. Davy Klaassen has been a great replacement for the injured Siem de Jong. While Thulani Serero played the whole season, and Nicolai Boilesen is finally back. And Jasper Cillessen took the baton over from Kenneth Vermeer.”
And, compared to last season, a dramatically different Ajax is, according to De Boer, the deserving national champion. “So many young guys aren’t used to playing the entire year at the highest level. You’ve seen that in the past months. Some guys were tired. Despite that, we managed to get points from the top teams. That’s been key for the title. Ajax truly deserves this championship.” De Boer knew what he needed to do, after winning the title. “Now we’re going to enjoy it with the players, staff and supporters.”