Imagine a world where aspiring young footballers could be taken in as pimple faced teens with a tad bit of bum fluff on their chins and nurtured into complete and successful professional footballers with their airbrushed faces on billboards in countries they have never considered frequenting while they sip cocktails in Ibiza with their significant other, who just happens to be an aspiring supermodel… Well dear friend and reader, such a world does exist in the football realm; although many in our fraternity tend to behave as if young stars pop up at random like a cannabis plant and bring euphoria after being allowed the opportunity to light the scene up. We at GSV have roped in your mate Uncle Bob and asked him to dust off his PhD in Development Football and become the Dean of our newly founded School Of Academies, where we enlighten, inform and entertain you with all the insight he has on development sides across the fraternity. In no particular or meticulous order, for that matter, we present to you The GSV Institutions List.
Ajax Cape Town Youth Academy
Country: South Africa
Location: Ikamva, Parow, Cape Town; Western Cape
Head Youth Coach: David Nyathi
Head Of Scouting: Sergio dos Santos
Notable Graduates: Steven Pienaar, Franklyn Cale, Granwald Scott, Mfundo Shumana, Clifford Ngobeni, Nazeer Allie, Masonwabe Maseti, Mkhanyiseli Siwahla, Romano Scott, Cole Alexander, Thulani Hlatswawo, Daylon Classen, Thulani Serero, Sameegh Doutie, Mosa Lebusa, Toriq Losper, Abbubaker Mobara, Travis Graham, Keagan Dolly
Fresh Out The Oven: Bantu Mzwakali, Rivaldo Coetzee, Ayabulela Magqwaka, Jody February, Brandon Peterson, Riyaad Norodien, Michael Kwong, Stefan van Neel, Matthew Rowell, Tashreeq Morris, Ziyaad Eksteen, Olwethu Nguye, Yagan Sasman, Anthony Gordinho
Training facilities: B+
Training methodologies: A+
Opportunities for growth: A
There is nothing more appealing to a purist than a football side with an ideology, especially when those principles seek to ensure that the club nurtures their younger players in an environment that promotes growth, success and attacking football. The Ajax Cape Town way of doing things has led to me concluding that there are one of the Top 3 most important clubs in Mzansi Diski today, their success rate of producing PSL ready youngsters every season at an average of 7 lads a campaign has to go down as something of a record for developmental sides anywhere in the football realm. The benchmark for development was already high when the club were founded in conjunction with mother club Ajax Amsterdam, yet Ajax CT took on that mantle well and their success at youth level is nothing short of deserved for a side that truly lives by the motto, “No Youth No Future”. It seems like it’s only a matter of time before the management side gets stabilised and Ajax keep hold of a few more talented lads and take care of them financially while competing for honours locally and only selling off their fledglings to overseas clubs when they are developed enough to leave the nest and spread the word of youth development across the football realm.
Ajax Cape Town will be the major benefactors of the increased opportunities being afforded to talented young players from all regions at national team level; whereas coastal based players used to feel as if their opportunities for national team selection were limited by their location, the team is now in a better opportunity to keep hold of their talented fledglings and grow an all-round successful football club that seeks to win at all levels while playing their great brand of entertaining football and developing great young footballers for Mzansi diski. The ideology has been reaffirmed at the club and the board have shown the ambition to match the levels the club deserves to be attaining, the revenue from increased sponsorship that comes with the improved marketability of the side coupled with the transfer profits garnered from selling off a couple of talented youngsters to bigger European sides will make Ajax Cape Town one of the most feared sides on the continent due to the steady supply of talent that will continue to flow out of their youth academy that feeds off a network of over 150 schools in a talent rich catchment area.