Two Ajax players with a slightly different story speak to us from the catacombs of the Grolsch Veste after the Supercup loss. The defeat to Jong FC Twente (2-0) is disappointing for the both the keeper and the star of the A-selection. Christian Eriksen and Mickey van der Hart look to the near future with a slightly different perspective.
Eriksen is a true winner. The Dane wants to win it all, including a Supercup match for the reserves; this match was intended for Eriksen to build up extra match rhythm. The Dane played against Patrick Kluivert’s Tukkers for more than an hour. “In the beginning I needed to get into it again, sort of back to basics”, Eriksen describes his longest match of ’12-13’ until now. The left midfielder made his return after the summer break during the practice match against Norwich City. “The first half was about warming up, so to speak. In the second half, I felt like I was back. The result is a shame. It’s ugly silver. Although Twente does have a good team.”
Mickey van der Hart can look back on a good, first full match of 2012-2013. In May, he kept his last (championship) match as an A-junior against, at, De Graafschap. Since his promotion to the A-selection, where he can build up experience as third keeper, he’s only been training. Until the Supercup. The promising, talented keeper has a reason to be satisfied despite the loss.
“A loss isn’t nice”, says Van der Hart as he leaves Jong Ajax’s locker room. His voice is reassuring. “But I’m happy to have played my first ninety minutes. It didn’t go exactly as I wanted, but I’m very satisfied. It’s a shame to lose here. If we’d been a bit more careful in front with possession. This loss wasn’t necessary, in any case. But in the second half, we needed to apply more pressure. Otherwise there are gaps. Especially when we went for broke. You know that you can strike the opponent once more in the last phase. And that happened.”
Van der Hart can now focus on improving; his development as a keeper is a priority. Eriksen is focussed on Ajax’s task for Sunday. Ajax – AX is a nice stage for the first Eredivisie match of the new season. “We’ll have to wait and see whether I play against AZ”, said the Dane with a mysterious smile. “I read somewhere that the coach wants to put me on the bench. I hope to be there on Sunday. It’s our first real match. But right now, my body feels broken, just a bit tired.”