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Joshua Pynadath (16): 'I want to win the Champions League'

Joshua Pynadath (16): 'I want to win the Champions League'

Joshua Pynadath is only 16 years old, but has already travelled far.  The swift winger has played for clubs in the United States, and Spain, and arrived in Amsterdam 2 years ago to play with Ajax’s youth academy.  Time for us to get acquainted with the American player with Indian roots.

Spectators watching the Ajax U16s team will notice Pynadath’s speed and dribbles.  “I’m a technical and creative player.  I can create many scoring opportunities for my team.  My playing style is similar to Neymar and Cristiano Ronaldo.  I’m a fast player, and I use fake- a lot in order to pass defenders.”

California – Madrid - Amsterdam
Pynadath was playing games for the American clubs Red Star FC and DeAnza Force FC, but things changed quickly when the Pynadath family moved to Spain.  “My mother works for a big software company.  She was transferred to Madrid in 2013.  I moved from California to Madrid, and ended up in Real Madrid’s youth academy.  It was a big step.”

Barely 2 years later, another big move was in the cards for the Pynadeth family.  “In 2015, my mother went to work in Amsterdam.  As a result, we all moved to Amsterdam.  I ended up coming to Ajax.”

Tough year
Due to regulations, Pynadeth was not allowed to play any matches during his first year in the Netherlands.  Communication was also difficult for him.  “The first weeks were tough, because I couldn’t speak a word of Dutch.  But I was warmly welcomed at the Toekomst and I integrated into the team quickly.  I wasn’t allowed to play in any matches, so I needed to find other ways to keep on improving my skills.  On Wednesdays and Sundays, which are our free days. I always go to the field and do some extra individual training in order to always get better.  During that year when I couldn’t play, I really developed a professional mindset.”

' During that year when I couldn’t play, I really developed a professional mindset.” '

“Ronaldo is a big example for me, he’s constantly working on becoming a better player and helping his team.  That’s what I want to do with  my life as well.  I always analyse my games and look at how I can help the team.”  Off the field, Pynadath wants to keep learning.  “My Dutch is good now!  I’m always learning.  I only communicate in Dutch with the team.  We started with just football Dutch, but now I’m learning to have conversations off the field.”

Pynadath likes it in Amsterdam.  “The youth academy here is amazing!  There is so much talent.  Many of my team mates have played with their national teams.  Every day is challenging.  I like the fact that the coaches are former players.  They have experience and always want to help me.  De Toekomst looks good and the facilities are excellent.  I had to get used to the weather, but it’s fine now.”

'Ajax is a real club.  You can be training in the gym next to a player from Ajax 1’

The American also sees differences between de Toekomst and Real Madrid’s academy.  “Ajax is a real club.  It’s great that the different teams and ages meet each other here.  Young kids and players from the first team alike.  You could be training in the gym, doing some extra work, and a player from Ajax 1 will be next to you!  And you can just ask questions, and get some advice.  In Madrid, the teams were more separated from each other, and the entire youth academy is not in contact with the first team very much.”

World Cup win with The Stars and Stripes
Pynadath has set clear goals.  “This season, I want to win the championship with Ajax.  We posted an important win against Vitesst last week.  I made an assist and I’m pleased that we’re in good shape right now.  I want to continue working hard and developing, and eventually make it to Ajax 1.  I want to play in the Champions League and win, that’s the highest goal.”

Pynadath also wants to win prizes with his country.  “I have already represented the United States in the U15 and now the U17.  I’m enjoying playing in the national tam and representing my country.  In the future, I’d like to make it to the US team and be part of a successful generation that might perhaps win the World Cup someday.  It would be really special for my country to win its first world title.”