November 28 – Dutch giants Ajax Amsterdam have struck a five-year partnership with Chinese top flight club Guangzhou R&F FC.
The Ajax Coaching Academy, the ACA, will help the Chinese Super League (CSL) team in the development of their youth academy by offering insight on scouting, talent development and other supporting departments.
The Amsterdam-based club will invest “millions of euros” according to an official statement on the Ajax website in Guangzhou’s academy for the duration of the contract, which includes an option for a further five-year renewal if both parties are satisfied with the partnership.
Guangzhou R&F FC play in the CSL, but are not as illustrious as their city rivals Guangzhou Evergrande, who have won the Asian Champions League twice and boast Fabio Cannavaro as their coach.
Ed Engelkes will lead Ajax’s coaching delegation in China. He will enjoy the company of several other coaches as back-up staff.
“It is good for Ajax to be partnering with Guangzhou R&F Football Club,” said Ajax’s chief executive Edwin van der Sar. “In recent years, we have been quite active in the Asian market. Youth is the core asset of our club and we are delighted that we can leverage our knowledge with an international partner like R&F.
“It is well known that for a club like Ajax it is hard to grow in the current European football industry. With initiatives like ACA we create opportunities to make alternative steps forward.”
“Ajax is a club with rich history, honours and owns the best youth academy in the world,” said Guangzhou R&F vice-president Nicky Wong. “We are a young club, but we believe we share a similar philosophy as Ajax, on the way of playing football, on the attitude towards youth development. We really believe in a fruitful partnership.”
At the weekend Ajax defeated Roda JC 5-1 to stay second in the Dutch Eredivisie, eight points behind league leaders PSV Eindhoven.
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