Ajax and Guangzhou R&F FC have signed a five-year partnership today. With help from Ajax, the Chinese club aims to develop the best youth academy in China. The deal involves millions of euros, spread out over five years. Both clubs have the intention to extend the partnership with another five years if both parties are satisfied with the results.
Via the specially founded Ajax Coaching Academy (ACA), Ajax aims to share their knowledge of developing a youth academy on a global level. The club therefore strives to initiate similar collaborations on multiple continents. During the last year, the ACA has developed programs and projects and now has the opportunity to fully shape Guangzhou R&F FC’s youth academy. This includes all aspects of a youth academy, such as scouting, talent development and all supporting departments.
The Ajax coaching team in China will be led by Ed Engelkes as technical director, supported by several other Ajax-coaches, each with their own speciality. They will share the club’s philosophy with the Chinese staff and youth players.
Nicky Wong, VICE PRESIDENT of R&F Football Club: “Ajax is a club with rich history, honours and owns the best youth academy in the world. We are a young club, but we believe we share the similar philosophy as Ajax, on the way of playing football, on the attitude towards youth development. We really believe in a fruitful partnership.”
Edwin van der Sar, CEO AFC Ajax, said: “It is good for Ajax to be partnering with Guangzhou R&F Football Club. In recent years, we have been quite active in the Asian market. Youth is the core asset of our club and we are delighted that we can leverage our knowledge with an international partner like R&F. It is well known that for a club like Ajax it is hard to grow in the current European football industry. With initiatives like ACA we create opportunities to make alternative steps forward.” Guangzhou R&F Football Club plays in the Chinese Super League. They finished in fifth on the table this season under Serbian manager Dragan Stojkovic. The club was founded in 2011 by Chinese real-estate developer R&F.