Ajax use soccer schools to net talent

ABSA Premiership side Ajax Cape Town have expanded their method of developing footballers.

Ajax will launch the first of their soccer schools at the Sunningdale complex on Friday.

Boys and girls between the ages of five and 13 will be targeted, said Ajax spokesperson Thabiso Mekuto.

"We realise it is hard to reach kids, though they are out there already playing football. This way they can access the school and use the facilities," he said.

The Urban Warriors have a long and proud history of finding the cream of talent on the Cape Flats through the Ajax Community Scheme. About 20 trained coaches are deployed through the scheme to work with youngsters. So far stars such as Steven Pienaar, Moeneeb Josephs, Franklin Cale, Clifford Ngobeni, Daylon Claasen, Bryce Moon and Nathan Paulse have been scouted by the system.

The three coaches in charge are Stanton Smith, Ian Taylor and Noel Cousins, who all played football professionally. They will work with the players in one-hour sessions per week and will cover all areas of development.

"We have enough coaches to pay every child attention and evaluate them individually. We also utilise the Dutch philosophy that has proven so successful for us over the years," Mekuto said.

Meanwhile, Ajax have announced former Bafana Bafana player David Nyathi as under-19 team assistant coach. He will be head coach Noel Cousins's assistant.

Nyathi was the team's under-12 coach.

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