Ari: Academy most prized asset

2014-07-25 10:21
Ari Efstathiou (Gallo)

Cape Town - Ajax Cape Town’s new management are entering their second season after taking control in July 2013.

Ari Efstathiou, the CEO of Ajax Cape Town, was positive about the future of the club as he reflected on his tenure over the past season on the club's website.

“It has been a fantastic challenge to steer the Ajax ship. Ajax is a massive club that employs close to 40 full-time staff, 55 professional footballers and 120 academy students. We have a world class facility, five football pitches, a club house that consists of change rooms, admin offices and a gym. We also have a merchandise store on site. In summary we take our business seriously”.

Efstathiou is adamant that the club's PSL status and academy remains a priority as they go forward.

“We had to stabilise the PSL team initially as there were players who had not had their contracts renewed by the previous management.”

“We had to beef up the squad in less than four weeks, get into a pre-season programme and ensure that the club improved on the performance of the previous season. We did this with the help off all our staff and managed to finish 12th on the log, a position that we would have accepted if someone had offered it to us at the beginning of the season,” he said.

The clubs CEO added that it was disappointing to see the club not qualify for the MTN8 and has praised the Urban Warriors academy for stepping up to the plate at the end of the last campaign.

“At one stage, we were confident that we could have improved on this but unfortunately with the persistent injury crisis, to the extent that Roger had only 16 players to choose from for the last 3 games, it became impossible.  At the end it was disappointing that we did not qualify for the MTN8.”

“Secondly, our academy. Our most prized asset. If it were not for our academy, I doubt that we would have survived relegation last year. We were able to promote 5 players into the PSL squad in positions that we were unable to find suitable candidates.”

“We are proud that the youngsters that we promoted did the club proud and delivered under very difficult circumstances.”

Read more on:    ajax cape town  |  psl  |  soccer

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