08/02/2014 MOTD Kickabout


Match of the Day spin-off show with the latest from the world of footie as well as top players and pundits.

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Hello and welcome to a very special episode of MOTD Kickabout. This week


we come to you from Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands. Known


for its cycling, canals and... Ajax Football Club!


This is a club whose youth academy has produced some of the greatest


players of all time. Footballing superstar is and teams that have


dominated European football from the likes of Johan Cruyff and Marco van


Basten to those who have lit up the Premier League Lake Dennis Bergkamp


and Edwin van der Sar and they are still producing top-flight


footballers today. How is it possible for only one club to


produce so many world-class footballers? I have come to


Amsterdam to answer that very question and to find out how the


Ajax Youth Academy is simply one of the most successful and the world.


Coming up on to the's shall dash -- coming up: I get access to the Ajax


youth system. One of the greatest players of all time, Johan Cruyff,


shows me how to do the Cruyff turn. Have I got the skills to make it at


Ajax? A Premier League legend puts me to the test.


Ajax of Amsterdam is one of the biggest names in European football.


This is a club that has won the Champions League, UEFA Cup and the


Dutch league 32 times, all with players mostly brought through its


own youth academy. At the heart of its success is this place. Where the


future generation of Ajax players are made. Before you can play in the


Amsterdam Arena, they have a long journey to go. And it all begins


here. Let us take a look around. How are you doing, a pleasure to meet


you. I can show you around. Brilliant. Like lots of the coaches


around, Wim Jonk is a former Ajax player but he is now in charge of


the youth academy. Wim Jonk, what is the aim of this


youth academy? We aim to be the best academy and the world. That is our


biggest goal, to reach the top in Europe again. What would the youth


academy look at and young children, what do they look for to get into


the top? We focus of the hall on the technical side. We give them a ball


and teach them tricks. We give them lots of things to learn, we give


them homework so that they can work at home with a football and had it


against a wall. What ages do we begin at? Seven or eight years old.


From then on we build the academy. Ajax has 12 youth teams plus the


second youth team. At every level the play and train in exactly the


same way. They all focus on what they call tips, which stands for


technique, insight, personality and speed. We always play with a 4-3-3


formation. This way we can find the holes and the opponents defence.


That is the main thing for us to focus upon. Our philosophy is to be


aware that there is always space. Ajax are not just interested in


looking after the football skills of children, they try to look after


their school work as well. Ajax really is a club for life and


many of the coaches and backroom staff are former players themselves


and I am not talking Sunday Week. -- Sunday week. That is Manchester


United's former goalkeeper, Edwin van der Sar, he is in charge of


marketing. Marc Overmars as a coach and that is Frank de Boer, the


former Dutch international who is the current manager. He was also


responsible for this amazing past to set up Dennis Bergkamp for one of


the greatest World Cup goals of all time. What legal! My name is Frank


de Boer. I am the first team coach at Ajax Amsterdam. We are depending


upon our youth academy. It is important that every year or every


two years they are to or for nuclear is that come through that into the


first team because we know that when someone is developing that well and


the first team after two years at a big club in England or whatever big


leagues in Europe, they will come to buy those players. We must be


prepared to fill that gap once more with quality players. There are 215


players in this academy, all hoping to make it into the first team. One


such hopeful is this 18-year-old goalkeeper. My name is Xavier. I am


the goalkeeper and the youth team since the age of ten. There are a


lot of good goalkeeper trainers. We do not have this quality at other


clubs I do not believe. Hopefully if everything goes right I would get


into the first team year and possibly move to the Premier League,


for me, it is the best league. For players like Xavier to make the step


into the first team, Frank de Boer has fitted a close eye on what is


going on at the academy. It is very important that the first-team coach


is involved and interested in how things are going with the youth


teams. In two years time they could be part of the first team, so I must


know what the development is of the players.


Frank de Boer, what an absolute legend! He is not the only great


player to have led this incredible club and then left to go on to do


fantastic things. Some of their best exports have played in the Premier


League. Here is my top five. A dangerous run, and it goes into


the net. Anelka and Overmars! He scores. If


anyone deserved a goal it was Marc Overmars.


It has come to Steven Pienaar! What a fantastic strike.


That was an absolutely terrific save from Edwin van der Sar.


Yes, he has done it. What a fantastic moment for Dennis


Bergkamp. There are some huge names and that's


top-flight. Many players that stranger will one day hope to play


in the Premier League. A man who did that was Christian Eriksen. He spent


five years before being signed by Tottenham Hotspur. I recently caught


up with him to relive those Ajax fees.


It's driven by Christian Eriksen, well-hit.


Christian, you have played for Ajax and no gardening for Tottenham in


the Premier League. What was it about the Ajax Youth Academy that


made you choose that? It was a long way from Denmark. My first choice


was always Ajax. As a technical player like myself, I thought Ajax


would be the best option. All of the people, everything there, for a


young player it is fantastic. What is a day in the life at the Ajax


Youth Academy like? I would strain for four hours in the morning. At


2pm we had further training. One or two times each week you would have


two players and the trainer working on your passing. It is incredible.


You try to pick up a lot of hints and tips. After one week I was not


allowed to speak English because they wanted me to speak Dutch. So


they teach you how to be a man and not just a footballer? That is


correct. We have heard about the rich history


of the club and seen some of the players and you get an impression


that he will continue to make an impression on the Premier League.


They learned their trade on the pitch. As soon as they are brought


into the first team they must have the skills required. At that only


comes with years of coaching. One of the guys whose job it is to train


the stars of the future is the former Nottingham Forest winger


Brian Roy. What better way to find out about the skills than to give it


a go myself. My cat is on, let us do it!


What winners tend to do always as they always want the ball into their


feet. -- wingers. It is much easier to get in front of the goal without


the ball than with the ball. OK, I am a midfield player. We're the


cameraman is, that is your opponent. Most players will stay where you are


at the moment and passed the ball here. But the thing is, the opponent


are high up in their own half and you have to run into this space. So


you are going to run, run, run, run! You get into the space and you


score! When the winner gets hold of the


ball, he goes straight at the opponent. The higher you get, the


older you get, when you get into this position, and you are running


straight against your opponent, you will never win your one V1. Frank de


Boer, you will never beat him when you go straight at him. So what you


must do is when you get the ball put it into that position. I can then


look up to see if I can make an early cross. If I cannot, then I do


my thing again. I thought you were going to teach me a trek but what


you are teaching the is how I can be part of the team rather than just


being an individual. That is correct, excellent. Very good


answer. The Ajax skills masterclass does not


end there. Now, I genuinely cannot believe I'm


about to say this, but to put this into some sort of context, if you


ask any football expert who the greatest footballers of all time


are, they'll mention Pele, Diego Maradona and they'll mention the man


standing to my right, his name is Johan Cruyff. Thank you very much.


This is an absolute pleasure to meet you. Cold, eh? It's very, very cold!


Johan, we're at the Ajax Youth Academy, what does Ajax mean to you?


Well, my whole youth I have been here, until the age of 26. Then when


I was 33 I came back. I played for a few more years and I enjoyed myself.


And it was on the training pitches of Ajax where Johan mastered


possibly the most famous trick of all time, the Cruyff Turn. He left


him for dead! Now, I am in my Ajax kit, I have got


a football here and I am standing next to one of the greatest players


of all time, I'm going to have to ask you, could you tell me the best


way to learn the Cruyff Turn? First of all, in my opinion, you play


football with your head and you use your feet. So it is always, the


situation is what you see and then react with what you can do. So it is


always fooling the opponent, which means you want him to do what you


want and then you can do what you want. It's always the same thing,


use your eyes and fool the opponent. Right, here we go. That's a little


too far, but... But you must be alone on the field,


because... Thank you so much, it's been an absolute pleasure. It's


freezing and you have come out to speak to us, thank you. You're


welcome. Children start that the Ajax academy


as young as seven years old and for a lucky few their dreams can come


true right here and the Amsterdam Arena with a capacity of well over


50,000 people. It really is an incredible stadium. This, for me,


has been an incredible journey. I have met some absolute legends and


it has been a privilege to be here. This is a club that is determined to


develop their players from an early age.


For generations they have produced some of the best players in the


world. It is so clear to me that many of the future world stars will


begin their career that year, and do you know what, they may even end up


playing in a Premier League club as well.


Steven Pienaar, going alone, what a fantastic strike! Terrific save from


Van der Sar! Ed Orr davits, one of the great midfielders of his


generation. Bergkamp,


Match of the Day spin-off show aimed at kids aged seven to 13, bringing viewers the latest from the world of footie as well as top players and pundits.

Featuring goals, gossip, stats and skills and all you need to know about the nation's favourite sport.

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