Ajax A1 lost its first match of the season on Tuesday night. Fred Grim and Ronald de Boer’s team posted a 3-0 lost against Aston Villa in the NextGen Series. Gary Gardner had a hat trick, scoring three times.
Fred Grim and Ronal de Boer’s team won its first three European group matches with relative ease. At home, A1 beat Aston Villa 2-0, and Fenerbahce 5-1. The youth team defeated Rosenborg 2-1 in Norway. The return against Fehnerbahce was scoreless. The Ajax youth training program made a big impression on the NextGen Series. Aston Villa forward Graham Burke was also impressed, as he looked forward to the match on the Birmingham club’s official website. After the match at de Toekomst, Burke was very inspired by Ajax, and the famed youth academy and stars from the past.
The heroes from de Toekomst naturally wanted to make their mark in Birmingham on Tuesday evening. In comparison to their home match against this opponent, they missed two key players, Davy Klaassen and Lesley de Sa, who were with Ajax 1 for the Champions League match against Lyon. Victor Fischer was also missing, due to injury. “We were the better team in the first half’, analysed Fred Grim afterwards. “We also had several opportunities but we couldn’t find the calm that we needed in the ending phase. If we had, we would have been ahead.”
That didn’t happen, which allowed Aston Villa forward Gary Gardner to open the score after 25 minutes. Via team mate Carruthers, who took possession after a badly placed pass from Ajax, Gardner scored the 1-0 goal. It was the Irish forward’s night, as he scored twice more in the second half. In the 53rd minute, Gardner doubled the score, and then made good for the third time just before the end. With beautiful plays, the junior moved towards the goal and finished successfully: 3-0. It was Ajax A1’s first defeat of the season. “As a team, we need to deal with this defeat. Not just press on, but really learn from our mistakes”, said Grim, who also saw positives in Villa Park. “Our steady substitutes were with Jong Ajax in Doetinchem and because of that, we had 3 B juniors on the field at one point in the second half: Sheraldo Becker, Kenny Tete and Djavan Anderson. A trip like this and the preparation around it is great for the players, of course.”
On November 29, Ajax A1 plays against Rosenborg BK. The match starts at 6.30p.m. at de Toekomst. But the cup match at Groningen/Cambuur will be played first, on Saturday.
Scoring: 27. Gardner 1-0, 53. Gardner 2-0, 83. Gardner 3-0
Line-up Ajax A1: Mickey van der Hart; Sven Nieuwpoort, Fabian Sporkslede, Stefano Denswil, Mitchell Dijks; Youssef Fennich, Nick de Bondt, Ouasim Bouy; Rowendey Schoop, Sinan Keskin, Danzell Gravenberch