u13 Ajax vs Feyenoord at De Toekomst (Ajax training facility)
As you can see in the video clip, the level of play was amazing! The individual skill of each player was at a world class level. The decision making was very intelligent - always playing with a purpose, and frequently going sideways or backwards to avoid highly congested areas. The understanding of the tactics for this age was remarkable! The 4-3-3 formation was played to perfection, each player knew their role and the team worked together like clockwork. The goalkeeper was actively involved in the build up from the back. The 7 and 11 stretched the field to open passing lanes centrally, and provide option on the flanks. The 8 and 10 kept their spacing centrally to avoid congestion in the midfield. The video clip shows many great examples: the 6 shows great individual skill to shield the ball and turn out of pressure, the ball is switched across the back, the 3 and 11 combine to avoid pressure and the ball is switched again, the 2 now has space to go forward and finds the 10 centrally, who then finds the 7 on the flank to go forward - this is beautiful football!
u18 Ajax vs AZ Alkmaar at De Toekomst (Ajax training facility)
This was a match to secure first place in the league standings, also a very high level of play! The consistency of the AJAX teaching methods was evident as the u18 team was playing the same formation and using the same tactics as the u13 match I watched earlier in the day - possession based with a clear strategy on expanding the field and choosing the right moments to go forward. Ajax was consistently able to get the ball to their 7 & 11 in advanced positions, who could then easily take advantage of 1 v 1 situations to create goal scoring opportunities.
u16 Feyenoord training session at Varkenoord (Feyenoord training facility)
The training was very efficient with a simple structure that will surely be duplicated. The shadow play combinations in the attacking third was a key takeaway - simultaneously on each half of the field the players were progressing through different attacking passing patterns. One half involved central combinations with only the 8, 10 and 9 involved. On the other half, combinations were focused on the 2, 3, 7 and 11 getting forward using the width of the field. The focus and efficiency of this setup was a big takeaway. Each position was getting quality repetitions and clear instructions on their role, and the combinations were relevant and realistic.
Eredivisie Vrouwen - Feyenoord vs Vitesse at Varkenoord (Feyenoord training facility)
The environment was special at this match, as you can see from the walkout! The stadium field at Varkenoord provided a cozy atmosphere on a chilly evening in Rotterdam. The level of play and intensity of the match was very high. Of course the football was spectacular with many great individual battles all over the field. This was a fun match to attend with great support from the fans!