On Monday morning the Ajax players were preparing for the cup match against ASWH. Initially the players were going to do their practice session in the adidas miCoach Performance Centre, but Frank de Boer considered it too risky. And so the Amsterdam squad was out on the training field battling against gale-force winds. 45 minutes later the centre collapsed. ,,It was a good decision”, the manager later said.
,,Storm is the worst condition in which to practice”, De Boer said. That was why initially he wanted to go inside, to keep the winds out. ,,But there was a lamp hanging from a couple of wires and the sides of the centre were already buckling. We didn’t want to take the risk.”
45 minutes later it became all too clear he had made the right decision. The sixteen players and two goalkeepers, Mickey van der Hart and Maurits Schmitz, out on the training field next to the main building, had quite a surprise. Where the centre had once stood, there was now nothing but wide open space. The goalkeepers where also troubled by the storm when their goal suddenly toppled over. Luckily they weren’t in it when it happened.
Back to the practice session now. Physiotherapist Pim van Dord worked with Niklas Moisander, Lasse Schöne and Ricardo van Rhijn. Moisander won’t be fit in time for the match against ASWH; for Schöne and Van Rhijn it is still not clear. De Boer had also selected Elton Acolatse for his squad. The Under 19s player was met by his coach Orlando Trustfull, who impressed on him the importance of enjoying moments like these.
There was good news from Ruben Ligeon. The right back player has recovered from his injury much quicker than expected. He was able to join in with the entire practice.
Photograph: Ajax.nl/Louis van de Vuurst