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Khoza opens Ajax institute

Ajax Cape Town on Friday officially opened the Lambda Institute, continuing their unrivalled commitment to youth development.

In front of distinguished guests in PSL chairman Irvin Khoza and Ajax Amsterdam CEO Edwin van der Sar, Ajax Cape Town boss Ari Efstathiou proudly displayed the state-of-the-art facility in front of a sizeable crowd gathered at the club’s base, Ikamva.

The institute, complete with bedrooms, two classrooms, a kitchen, entertainment area and its own garden, will house, school and develop young and talented footballers, with a holistic approach the focus of their development as they are given the opportunity to grow both on and off the field.

With building completed earlier this year through the help of funds from Amsterdam, the institute housed seven teenagers in 2018 – their first intake – with another 10 joining the facility next year.

Following completion of phase two, the club will house 30 youngsters aged between 14 and 18 years, with the aim of annually promoting six to the Ajax Cape Town first team, and sending “two or three” to Europe, the ideal destination being Ajax Amsterdam.

“The Ajax Lambda Institute’s vision is to prepare and nurture young African talent for top European leagues,” Efstathiou said in his address. “It’s truly a historical occasion for Ajax Cape Town – we are enterprising and dynamic in whatever we do, and we’ve just taken one big step further in terms of youth development

“Our commitment to youth development goes beyond what any other club does for youth development, and don’t forget, we’re only in the NFD.”

Khoza was on hand to cut the ribbon and officially open the institute, and was quick to praise Efsathious and the club for their continued efforts and focus on youth development.

Khoza was on hand to cut the ribbon and officially open the institute, and was quick to praise Efsathious and the club for their continued efforts and focus on youth development.

“It’s a particularly good day for South African football,” Khoza said. “It is indeed a good day when visionary individuals and such an organisation driven by a selfless leader dedicates as an integral part of their being – not as a sideshow – the development of people, and not only people, but young people.

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