6 Jan

Cruyff’s children prove they are the latest golden generation

first_imgIn 2011, no longer recognising his Ajax, Cruyff undertook the task of rebuilding the famous youth school, by now known as ‘De Toekomst’ (the future), where he had learned his football.Cruyff’s declared aim was “to focus on the individual, because it is by training exceptional individuals that we will build a great team”.De Toekomst is a complex of 12 pitches located a few hundred metres from the club’s main stadium, now named the Johan Cruyff ArenA.There Ajax train the young talent uncovered by the club’s eight full-time scouts and 90 volunteers, generally from within 60 kilometres of Amsterdam.It took time for Cruyff’s reforms to bear fruit. But the backbone of the team that won 4-1 at the Santiago Bernabeu on Tuesday night was molded at the Toekomst.Frenkie de Jong (21), Matthijs de Ligt (19), Donny van de Beek (21), Kasper Dolberg (21), Andre Onana (22) and Rasmus Kristensen (21) are all products of the youth system.Of the older players who add experience, Daley Blind (28), who has returned after four years at Manchester United, was in the youth system when Cruyff started to implement his plan.Ajax won the last of their four Champions Cup trophies in 1995 under Louis van Gaal.That was also a squad built around the young home grown talent, including Edwin van der Sar, Michael Reiziger, Frank and Ronald de Boer, Edgar Davids, Clarence Seedorf, Marc Overmars, Patrick Kluivert and Jari Litmanen, as well as another veteran who had returned to his first club, Frank Rijkaard.“This generation is almost as strong as that of 1995,” Van Gaal told Panenka magazine in February.– Exceptional generation –Johan Cruyff (centre) celebrating Ajax’s 1972 European Cup trophy win over Inter Milan © AFP“I said that in October when Ajax was going to face Bayern and people made fun of me.”Ajax probably need to win soon with this exceptional generation.The 1995 team quickly began to break up as players left for richer clubs, although Ajax hung on to Van der Sar and the de Boer brothers until 1999.But that 1995 triumph was soon followed by the Bosman ruling which made it harder for clubs to keep talent.At a club which welcomes back its prodigal sons, Van der Sar, now the general manager, oversees the youth project with technical director Marc Overmars.“It is clear that we will have difficulties keeping these players together,” said Overmars, who as a player left Ajax at the age of 23 to join Arsenal.Indeed the summer sale of de Jong to Barcelona, the other club rebuilt by Cruyff, for 75 million euros is already agreed.Yet Overmars’ pragmatism is not tinged with pessimism. The talent reservoir of Ajax seems deep.Ryan Gravenberch, a midfielder, became the youngest first-team player in club history when he made his debut in the Dutch first division in September at 16 years and 130 days old, 112 days younger than Seedorf when he set the previous record.Brian Brobbey, a 17-year-old striker, is also talked of as a phenomenon.The club is good at making the most of all that young talent: 86 per cent of players trained at the club turn professional.Last summer the club made a video to convince the latest generation of their potential.It compared goalkeeper Onana to Van der Sar, striker Dolberg to Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Ligt to Daley’s father Danny Blind and Jong to Christian Eriksen, one of four former Ajax players, three of them products of the youth system, who were part of the Tottenham team that also recorded a notable away victory on Tuesday night.At the Bernabeu, the latest generation of Ajax talent lived up to the video and won a remarkable victory in a style that would have made Cruyff proud.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Winning with kids: the Ajax youngsters had something to celebrate in Madrid © AFP / GABRIEL BOUYSAMSTERDAM, Netherlands, Mar 6 – Johan Cruyff would have been proud.The spectacular qualification by Ajax for the Champions League quarter-finals at the expense of Real Madrid on Tuesday bore the stamp of the Dutch great who died three years ago.last_img read more

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25 Dec

Teacher probed in violence

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week Sneath and about 15 other Barrel Springs parents went to the board meeting Tuesday night to report the incident. District administrators said Wednesday the incident was being investigated and appropriate action would be taken, although they would not elaborate, saying it involved a confidential personnel issue. Superintendent Jack Gyves said the teacher mishandled the situation and committed an error in judgment. “It was not an appropriate course of action. It was a serious breach of judgment, and appropriate actions will be taken,” Gyves said. Gyves said Principal Mary Wright has talked with the teacher and the teacher has acknowledged that what she did was a mistake. PALMDALE – Palmdale School District is investigating a Barrel Springs School teacher who told a fourth-grade boy to throw a pencil at a classmate who had earlier thrown a pencil at him that hit him in the eye. A parent who was there said the teacher held the classmate against a hallway wall and told the first boy to throw the pencil at him. When the pencil missed on the first throw, the teacher said to throw it again, harder, and be sure it hit, said parent Roxanne Sneath. After the second throw, which hit, the classmate broke free from the teacher’s grasp and punched the other boy in the face, Sneath said. “It just made me ill,” Sneath said. “The boy was taught to do something wrong and got hit in the face because of what (the teacher) said.” The teacher is a curriculum-resource teacher who helps out Wright when the assistant principal is not there, Gyves said. She had gone to the classroom when the teacher called the school office to ask for help with the boy who originally threw a pencil, Gyves added. “It was total misjudgment of authority,” said trustee Sheldon Epstein. “We need to investigate it. Certainly there would be a consequences if that was true.” A message left at Barrel Springs for the teacher was not returned. Wright referred calls to the district office. Sneath said the incident occurred Monday about 20 minutes before the end of the school day in her son’s classroom, where she volunteers. When she entered the room, Sneath said the classroom teacher was on the telephone asking for someone to come from the office to remove a disruptive student, who was throwing books and cursing. Sneath said she noticed a new student writing obscenities on his desk. Sneath said the curriculum-resource teacher arrived in a state of anger and asked, “Who is it?” She called the new student to come up to the classroom teacher’s desk and asked what was going on. At that point, another boy stood up and said the new student was calling him dirty names, Sneath said. The new student then picked up a pencil off the teachers’s desk and threw it at the other child, hitting him in the eye. The curriculum resource teacher screamed “We don’t do that,” grabbed the pencil thrower and dragged him out the door, Sneath said. The curriculum resource teacher then asked the boy who was hit with the pencil to come out into the hall, Sneath said. That boy was crying and holding his eye, she said. She told the boy who had been crying to pick up a pencil and throw it at the other boy, whom she was holding, Sneath said. It missed. “Then she said you have to pick it up and throw it harder and make sure you hit him,” Sneath said. The incident occurred within view of children in the classroom, Sneath said. “The kids started to scream and cry in class,” she added. District officials said the new student had transferred from another district and had been attending Barrel Springs for only a few days. Karen Maeshiro, (661) 267-5744 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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