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  • 1 Post By gmunay05

The Ajax Youth Challenge

  1. The Ajax Youth Challenge

    Here I am, back in Holland.

    Having spent a year here during school, the surroundings are quite familiar to me.
    During my time in the States, I spent my time in school building up coaching badges and my reputation as one of the brightest minds in the game. I felt ready to return to Holland and pursue my passion of coaching with one of the best teams in the country. Thus, I decided to apply for the open Ajax job in the summer.

    The Ajax Youth Challenge-screen-shot-2016-12-31-2.16.01-pm.png

    Having sparkled in my interview with the board, they were excited with the prospect of having me take the club forward. My philosophies were simple: bring in young players to play a role in the first team and develop players using the club's youth system. They wanted me to play attacking soccer and with the current monetary situation weren't concerned with bringing players in, but we agreed to set principles and I took the job on the spot.

    The rules for the save are simple: I can only sign players who are 19 years of age or younger, are Dutch, or have played for Ajax in the past.

    The objective: Win the Champions League

    If you don't know about Ajax, here is a little background on them:

    The Ajax Youth Challenge-screen-shot-2016-12-31-2.39.15-pm.png

    They won the Champions League four times (1971-73, 1995) the Europa League once (1992), and have won the Eredivisie 33 times. More recently they won the Eredivisie from 2010 to 2014. The last two years have seen their fortunes drop as they have finished behind bitter rivals PSV each season.

    Their finances are quite stable, with £23,134,314 in the bank. They have a transfer budget of £4.3 million but are above their wage budget by about £2k.

    The Ajax Youth Challenge-screen-shot-2016-12-31-2.51.47-pm.png

    I have already made two requests to the board: a new affiliate club to recruit youngsters from and an increase in transfer revenue. The board succumbed to my requests, and we now have 90% available from all sales and a new feeder club will be decided on shortly.

    Screenshots of the top 5 most important first team players:

    Hakim Ziyech
    The Ajax Youth Challenge-screen-shot-2016-12-31-2.56.18-pm.png

    Davy Klassen
    The Ajax Youth Challenge-screen-shot-2016-12-31-2.59.34-pm.png

    Nemanja Gudelj
    The Ajax Youth Challenge-screen-shot-2016-12-31-3.00.46-pm.png

    Anwar El Ghazi
    The Ajax Youth Challenge-screen-shot-2016-12-31-3.03.10-pm.png

    Richedly Bazoer
    The Ajax Youth Challenge-screen-shot-2016-12-31-3.03.18-pm.png

    From the get-go I have transfer listed Thulani Serero, Lasse Schöne, and Nick Viergever, and have promoted Andre Onana and Donny van de Beek to the first team. I have my eye on a few young targets, but will not make any rash moves as our youth team is stacked and our first team has quality depth all around.

    That brings me to the end of my first post. My next planned update is in two months in game after the transfer window comes to a close. Please let me know how I can do better and what you would like to see. Thanks!
    Last edited by gmunay05; 01/01/2017 at 03:02 AM.
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  2. Champions League Third Qualifying Round

    FC Rostov v. AFC Ajax (Champions League Third Qualifying Round)

    The Ajax Youth Challenge-tqr-preview.png

    In the Champions League Third Qualifying Round we drew FC Rostov and were faced with a trip to Russia in the first leg. With the exception of Tim Krul, the entire first team was fit. Andre Onana came in to do his job between the sticks. We went with the same lineup for both legs in a modified 4-1-4-1 formation:

    The Ajax Youth Challenge-tactics.png

    In a rather messy encounter, we came out of this one with a 2-1 win, giving us two away goals and the lead heading back to the Amsterdam ArenA.

    The Ajax Youth Challenge-rostov-1st-leg-result.png

    Davy Klassen scored in the 19th minute from a close finish but failed to impress otherwise and was subbed off at halftime. Amin Younes came on for Davy Klassen at halftime, as Ziyech moved over to the Shadow Striker role, and scored from an El Ghazi cross to put us ahead for good. We broke down off a missed Dolberg chance counter from Rostov to give them a way back into the game but shored up towards the end and headed home with an aggregate lead. I wasn't particularly pleased with what I saw from out midfield, with Gudelj and Bazoer underperforming, but a win's a win.

    The second leg saw us come out with the same formation and same lineup, with the same result.

    The Ajax Youth Challenge-rostov-2nd-leg-result.png

    We went down early this time, but Dolberg finished a nice through ball to tie it up and Ziyech finished from the spot to put us up 2-1 and 4-2 on aggregate. I took Bazoer off for van de Beek with around 25 minutes to go expecting the game to be wrapped up, but Ridewald gave up a penalty to give Rostov a glimmer of hope. However, the 20 year old Cameroonian Onana came up huge from the spot and parried the penalty to his left. I was happier with the result, as we dominated from start to finish. Lapses on the left side of the defense were common in both legs however, and the left back spot is something I am going to try to shore up as we head into league play.

    The Best Placed Playoff Draw handed us a trip to Turkey, as we will face Fenerbahce in Istanbul after they take a trip to Amsterdam for the first leg.

    The Ajax Youth Challenge-champions-league-best-placed-playoff-preview.png

    Notes: Transfers have been made and finalized, and will all be shown in the next post/update. I decided to chop up updates as I felt this would be more interesting and allow for more in depth analysis on each post as opposed to globs of info on one.

  3. Transfer Special

    Seven Arrive and Three Leave for de Godenzonen

    First the outs:

    Thulani Serero (£1.2M to Frankfurt)

    The Ajax Youth Challenge-serero-sale.png

    Serero wasn't cut for the grade of Ajax physically or technically, and his departure to Frankfurt gives room for van de Beek to slot into the first team nicely.

    Lasse Schöne (£975K to Hull)

    The Ajax Youth Challenge-schone-sale.png

    Having arrived in 2012 on a free, Schöne was a key part of consecutive title winning squads. However, with Abdelhak Nouri and Vaclav Cerny ready for first team game time, it didn't make sense to keep him around. He leaves for England for a measly ₤975K.

    Nick Viergever (£1.6M to RBL)

    The Ajax Youth Challenge-viergever-sale.png

    A well rounded center back and left back, Viergever found himself in a rotational position on first team money. Cashing in on him quickly left us short at left back but allowed us to invest elsewhere.

    Now the ins:

    Assane Gnoukouri (£1.4K p/m Loan from Inter)

    The Ajax Youth Challenge-gnoukori-loan.png

    David Neres (
    £3.5K p/m Loan from Sao Paolo)

    The Ajax Youth Challenge-david-neres-loan.png

    Neres and Gnoukouri both provide cover in positions where we were lacking depth. Neres provides an option across the front three while Gnoukouri is a physical box to box midfielder who fits my tactic and can slide back to DM if needed. Neither have an option to buy but both come in cheap and could be bought for relatively cheap.

    Carlos Soler (£600K from Valencia)

    The Ajax Youth Challenge-carlos-soler-buy.png

    A highly touted youngster, Soler is already gifted in all areas of his game. With room to improve, Solar will slot into the first team as ample cover for Bazoer who can change a game with his ability to win a ball and distribute.

    Dabney dos Santos Souza (£2M from AZ)

    The Ajax Youth Challenge-dabney-dos-santos-souza-buy.png

    Bought before his 20th birthday, Dabney is a gifted Dutchman who can excel if the mental side of his game improves. He will be sent out on loan to Vitesse in the hope of regular game time.

    Issa Diop (
    £3.5M (£5.75M) from Toulouse FC)

    The Ajax Youth Challenge-issa-diop-buy.png

    Perhaps our most expensive signing, Issa Diop has to potential to be a long term partner for Jairo Ridewald. The 6'4" Frenchman will be given his chance to impress as the season progresses with Viergever's departure.

    Suat Seder (£2.9M (£4.7M) from Mainz)

    The Ajax Youth Challenge-suat-serdar-buy.png

    Already advance mentally and physically, a little technical work would turn this guy into a superstar. He slots in nicely as a rotational player and could take Gudelj's spot in the team as early as next year.

    Emanuel Vignato (
    £500K from Chievo)

    The Ajax Youth Challenge-vignato-buy.png

    Finally, a true youngster. Emanuel will be plopped in the U-19's where he can develop into an impactful first team player. Coming in from Chievo on the cheap, this winger has the potential to be special if he continues to grow.

    Transfer plans for the rest of the calendar year: Sell Klassen (£20M or nothing), loan out dos Santos Souza and Sinkgraven. Klassen's sale would fun the purchase of youngsters in February and March,

    Next update will have the Champions League Best Placed Playoff Against Fenerbahce and the end of the transfer window.
    Last edited by gmunay05; 01/01/2017 at 11:25 AM.

  4. Nice start cant beat an Ajax save trying to restore them to former glories good luck with it

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