It’s time for the annual Talent Days again. From Monday to Friday 1.100 young kids will fill the youth development facility De Toekomst, full of dreams of one day playing for Ajax. “The talent days are the fundamentals on which we build our house”, says Henny de Regt, coordinator of the days.
The size of participation is welcomed by De Regt. “Compared to previous editions, we now also did some pre-work in the entire region with a number of clubs. Nine hundred boys participated in that process. In total we will have seen over two thousand kids, which is quite a lot in my opinion”.
Two new teams will be formed from talent coming out of the Talent Days. The F1 and E3 teams (under 9 and under 10). After the event, participants will receive a letter. Either they can come back for two more days of training, or they are encouraged to continue trying and come back next year.
As happens each year, the process will be refined. “We will focus on 4 v 4 drills” De Regt explains. “This allows the boys to be on the ball more, so we can better make our selections. That way we try to emulate street football better”.
On Monday and Tuesday, the older groups and no less than 200 goalkeepers will be first to try out. The young goaltenders will be presented with one hour of training, after which they may be re-called for further sessions. On thurday and Friday the youngest talents will take the fields. The Talent Days will end with boys born in 2005. This latter group will form the base of next year’s F1 team, and will already participate in a tournament later this season.
“As always, I am already looking forward to the days”, says De Regt. “It’s quite an organisation, but it is the basis of our system. In this way players such as Rafael van der Vaart, John Heitinga and Gregory van der Wiel – to name just a few – once made their entry into Ajax”.