a.f.c. ajax and the royal belgian football association training program
emphasizing development at the youth level
generation adidas international offers young players of all ages and abilities the opportunity to experience the youth development approach of one of the most famous soccer clubs in the world – A.F.C. Ajax. The Ajax Academy facility is named ‘De Toekomst’, which means ‘future’ – a fitting name given Ajax’s reputation for developing top Dutch talent from a young age. In fact, most of the current Ajax starters have developed their skills in this Academy. It is considered by many to be the best Academy in the world. Come experience Ajax’s youth development philosophy firsthand while visiting the beautiful city of Amsterdam and staying at the Papendal, the Dutch Olympic Sports Complex.
Ajax is the most successful club in the Netherlands and has always played in the highest league, the Eredivisie, since its foundation in 1956. They have won 33 Eredivisie League titles, 18 Dutch Cups, and 8 Dutch Super Cups, as well as 4 UEFA Champions League titles, 1 UEFA Cup, 3 European Super Cups and 1 European Winnersʼ Cup.
The Royal Belgian Football Association, also known as KVBV, is the governing body of soccer and futsal in Belgium. Less than 20 years ago, the KVBV made a bold decision to redesign the country’s soccer blueprint by adopting the same vision for clubs, national teams and coaches. They began by implementing a particular style of play in under-18 teams across the country and emphasizing development at the youth level. They deemphasized the importance of winning and urged a delayed introduction to full-size pitches, opting for five-a-side and seven-a-side play. The national team experienced an explosion of talented youth players and some of the biggest names today in soccer are a testament to the blueprint. These players include Manchester City star Kevin de Bruyne, Chelsea phenomenon Eden Hazard, Manchester United striker-midfield duo Romelu Lekaku and Maroane Fellaini, and goalkeeping sensation Thibaut Courtois. You’ll experience first hand the recipe for success that revolutionized soccer in Belgium and propelled the Belgian national team to one of the top ten in FIFA world rankings today.