Ajax Cape Town F.C.

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Ajax Cape Town
Ajax Cape Town.svg
Full name Ajax Cape Town Football Club
Nickname(s) Urban Warriors
Founded 1999, merger of Seven Stars
and Cape Town Spurs
Ground Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town
Ground Capacity 55,000
Manager South Africa Roger De Sá
League ABSA Premiership
2013–14 ABSA Premiership, 12th

Ajax Cape Town (Afrikaans: Ajax Kaapstad[1]) is a South African football (soccer) club based in the Parow suburb of the city of Cape Town that plays in the Premier Soccer League. Dutch Eredivisie club AFC Ajax is the parent club and acts as the majority shareholder.[2]

History[edit]

Ajax Cape Town was formed in 1999 by Rob Moore and John Comitis via the amalgamation of two Cape Town-based teams, Seven Stars and Cape Town Spurs, as AFC Ajax expanded their worldwide talent-feeder network to South Africa.

Ajax, nicknamed Urban Warriors, played their first official game against Kaizer Chiefs in the Iwisa Charity Spectacular on 17 July 1999. Ajax caused an upset when they beat Chiefs 1–0 with Sam Pam, the Ajax Cape Town captain, scoring the winning goal.

Current national team coach Gordon Igesund, South Africa's most successful club coach,[3] who won league titles with Manning Rangers, Orlando Pirates, Santos and Sundowns, coached the club from 2002 until 2006.

Since coming into existence, Ajax has never won the league title with their highest finish being runners-up in 2003-04 and 2011-12. Ajax managed to win the Rothmans Cup in 2000, the Nedbank Cup in 2007 and most recently the Telkom Knockout in 2008.

In January 2007 Ajax CT managed to beat AFC Ajax 3–1 in a friendly game held in Cape Town. The next friendly, played in Amsterdam, ended in a 3–2 win for AFC Ajax in July 2009.

Over the years several Ajax CT players have made the step to the mother club, among them Steven Pienaar in 2002, Daylon Claasen in 2009, Eyong Enoh in 2008 and Thulani Serero in 2011.

In July 2013, following an abysmal 2012–13 campaign which saw Ajax Cape Town going through four managerial changes and just nearly escaping relegation, it was announced that George and John Comitis, longtime shareholders of the club, had sold their shares of the club back to AFC Ajax and that George would step down as the chairman of the club.[4] Ari Efstathiou was announced as the new chairman, and Muhsin Ertuğral was reinstated as manager of the club, following an interim managerial period after originally being hired as the clubs new technical director.[5]

Youth program[edit]

Since the inception of the club from its merger under Rob Moore, Ajax Cape Town have imported the AFC Ajax philosophy and effective youth development schemes in the Western Cape. The majority of the senior squad players have come up from the club's own youth ranks, such as the likes of Nazeer Allie, Granwald Scott and Thulani Hlatshwayo, while others such as Steven Pienaar and Thulani Serero have moved on to some of the top clubs in Europe.

With the introduction of the Ajax Cape Town Community Scheme in conjunction with the South African Police Services, Ajax CT also provides football opportunities to young people within the greater Cape Town area regardless of race, gender, social status or disability, facilitated through structured programs in a safe and fun learning environment.

Since then the Ajax Cape Town Community Scheme has been implemented in more than 120 schools across the Western Cape as far as the Cape Winelands, reaching more than 8 000 children.[6]

Stadium[edit]

Main article: Cape Town Stadium

In the beginning Ajax CT played their home games at Athlone Stadium and Newlands Stadium. The latter is a 51,900 capacity venue, which was first built in 1988, and was also host to the 1995 Rugby World Cup opening match. Essentially being a Rugby stadium, it was a home they shared with clubs Santos and Vasco da Gama, as well as Rugby teams Stormers and Western Province. Athlone Stadium was home to the Santos and has a capacity of 30,000. The stadium located in Athlone, Cape Town was also host to some of Ajax CT early home matches as well.

Moving to the Green Point Stadium, an 18,000 seat multi-purpose stadium in the Green Point area of Cape Town. The stadium was eventually demolished in 2007 to make way for the new Cape Town Stadium for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Construction of the new stadium was completed in 2009, and the Urban Warriors have played their home games at the Cape Town Stadium since the beginning of the 2010-11 Premier Soccer League season to an improved capacity of 55,000. On 3 August 2011 a contract extension of three years was negotiated with the stadium, which will see Ajax CT playing their home games there until 2014.[7][8]

The first match played at the new stadium was a Cape Town derby between Ajax CT and Santos on 23 January 2010 as part of the official inauguration of the stadium.

Ajax Cape Town also has a modern training facility called Ikamva located in Parow, Cape Town. It serves as the training grounds for the senior squad, as well as for the Ajax Cape Town Youth Development Academy.

Former managers[edit]

NB: Does not include interim managers

Notable former players[edit]

Main Article: List of Ajax Cape Town players

For a list of all Ajax Cape Town players with a Wikipedia article, see Category:Ajax Cape Town F.C. players.

Honours[edit]

Domestic[edit]

Winners: 2000, 2008
Winners: 2007

Preseason[edit]

Winners: 2007, 2008

Performance in CAF competitions[edit]

2005 – Final Group Round
2009 – First Round
2008 – First Round of 16

Club records[edit]

Premier Soccer League record[edit]

Club officials/Technical team[edit]

  • Executive director: Greece Ari Efstathiou
  • Chief commercial officer: Greece Alexi Efstathiou
  • Team manager: Germany Maximilian Grünewald
  • Coach: South Africa Roger De Sá
  • Assistant coach: South Africa Ian Taylor
  • Goalkeeper coach: Netherlands Sander Westerveld
  • Head of youth development: Netherlands Corné Groenendijk
  • Head of scouting: Portugal Sergio dos Santos

First team squad[edit]

As of 3 February 2014 Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 South Africa GK Brandon Peterson
2 South Africa DF Nazeer Allie
5 South Africa DF Mosa Lebusa
6 South Africa MF Travis Graham
12 South Africa MF Granwald Scott
13 South Africa MF Lance Davids
14 South Africa FW Tashreeq Morris
17 South Africa MF Toriq Losper
18 South Africa MF Abbubaker Mobara
19 South Africa MF Bantu Mzwakali
No. Position Player
21 South Africa DF Cecil Lolo
22 South Africa DF Aidan Jenniker
24 South Africa MF Franklin Cale
25 South Africa MF Cole Alexander
26 South Africa DF Dominic Isaacs (captain)
28 South Africa MF Keagan Dolly
29 South Africa FW Nathan Paulse
32 Finland GK Anssi Jaakkola
Zimbabwe FW Simba Sithole

Foreigners[edit]

In the South African PSL, only five non-South African nationals can be registered. Foreign players who have acquired permanent residency can be registered as locals.

Shirt sponsor & kit manufacturer[edit]

  • Shirt sponsor: ?
  • Kit manufacturer: Adidas

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ajax kom nou tuis by Kaapstad-stadion Nuus24, geraadpleegd 28 augustus 2011
  2. ^ http://www.kickoff.com/news/35388/comitis-brothers-sell-shares-in-ajax-cape-town-after-feud-with-efstathiou-family
  3. ^ Soccer in South Africa
  4. ^ "Comitis-familie stapt uit Ajax CT". Ajax Showtime. Retrieved 2013-07-08. 
  5. ^ "Efstathiou: Ertugral Stays, Comitis goes". Kick Off Magazine. Retrieved 2013-07-08. 
  6. ^ "Ajax Cape Town Club History". ajaxct.com. 5 August 2011. Retrieved 5 August 2011. 
  7. ^ "Chiefs to use Rand Stadium this season". KickOff Magazine. 30 June 2010. Archived from the original on 9 August 2010. Retrieved 8 July 2010. 
  8. ^ "Ajax CT to use Cape Town Stadium as Home Ground". Goal.com. 3 August 2011. Retrieved 5 August 2011. 

External links[edit]