Toronto, (for immediate release)- Following a very successful introduction to the aspiring soccer youth of the Greater Toronto Area in 2005, the world class coaches who make up the top youth academy in the world- AFC AJAX of Amsterdam will once again return this summer to share the renowned training philosophy and methods which best define the successful AFC AJAX model for youth development.
The two week identification camp (July 17-21 & July 24-28) will be lead by Patrick Ladru, Technical Director at the AJAX youth academy. He has over 15 years of experience at AJAX, having overseen the development of many of today's professional soccer stars who graduated from the AJAX academy. Another 7 academy coaches will be making the trip, some returning from the 2005 camp while others make the trip for the first time, but all with vast experience as former top level international players and now as part of the youth development coaching staff. They include Wim Kwakman (U15), Dennis De Haan (U9), Simon Tahamata (U11), Gerri Muhren (International Scout), Peter van der Hengst (U-10), Wilco van Buuren (U-12) and Alfons Groenendijk (U-18).
"The 2005 Camp in Toronto was a great event and a very positive learning experience for not only participants who were taught the "Ajax Way" but also for all of us coaches who were introduced to and got to better understand the strengths and challenges facing young Canadian players as they develop in football " commented Mr. Ladru. "Since then I and the other Ajax Academy coaches have had the opportunity to meet and work with certain players and groups in Amsterdam and Canada, while also setting in place with Bobby (Smyrniotis, Director, Sigma Sports Solutions) our plans for the 2006 Camp. We look forward to returning this summer, and hope to witness the progress of last years participants while also meeting and supporting new participants".
"The quality and work ethic of the 2005 Camp participants clearly laid the groundwork for much of our efforts since and leading up to this July's camp" according to Bobby Smyrniotis, Director of Sigma Sports Solutions. "This has been clearly evidenced from the feedback received at home from participants wishing to once again participate, and from Amsterdam where increased interest from coaches to attend this summer has added to the quality of our coaching team. The whole group at Sigma Sports Solutions, including our valuable Canadian coaching team looks forward to this summer's camp".
Central to the identification aspect of this camp will be the selection of a talented few individuals to be invited to the AJAX Toekomst training centre in Amsterdam for a week long training camp.
The AFC AJAX system is rooted in the ever present need to produce players from within the club under a common philosophy. Starting with Rinus Michels the great innovator of development and tactics to Louis Van Gaal of the 1990's, these two coaches revolutionized the sport in many different aspects and most importantly player development. Central within the club is the style of play (3-4-3,4-3-3), training methods, behaviour and house rules. Ajax strives to keep the way of playing football recognizable; attractive, offensive-minded, creative, fast, fair and preferably far away from their own goal. Ajax has developed the so-called TIPS model, which represents Technique, Insight, Personality and Speed. For each part there are ten criteria. P and S are generally innate properties, but I and S can always be developed further. The common goal of producing athletes via a universal philosophy of play from nine years of age to the professional squad allows the club to mold their athletes into competing at highest level of play. The investment into the academy allows for the club to develop and later profit from the talent via transfers. This permits the club to remain financially successful in the current worldwide soccer economy.
Evidence of the success of their youth development model has a long rich history from the days of Johan Cruijff and Marco Van Basten to the present day with many of AJAX's youth players having graduated to the professional senior squad while others are all over Europe at top clubs, including Rafael Van der Vart (Hamburg) Wesley Sneijder (AJAX) Clarence Seedorf (Milan), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Juventus), Kiki Musampa (Athletico Madrid), Edwin Van der Saar (Manchester United), Edgar Davids (Totenham), Dennis Bergkamp (Arsenal) Patrick Kluivert (Newcastle) Hedwiges Maduro (Ajax). This is just a small sample of the international stars that have successfully completed training at the Ajax youth academy under the direction of the academy coaching staff traveling to Toronto. The philosophy and system implemented on an every day basis at the Toekomst training center in Amsterdam is central to the development of all these world class stars.
Sigma Sports Solutions is a management group committed to being partner of choice for athletes, sport organizations and sport friendly corporations and as such is constantly driven to effectively bridge the gap between these parties for a more rewarding experience through sport.