Ajax and international partner clubs gather in Amsterdam: 'Continue building a network'

During a Club Network Summit, Ajax exchanged knowledge and experiences with all international partner clubs. The two-day Summit was held at de Toekomst and in the Johan Cruijff ArenA. Ajax aims to recognise, develop, and improve talents together with the clubs.

This network has been developing for several years, and the meeting marked an important milestone in this process. The network’s ambition is clear: 'to connect.' This connection enables the clubs to stand stronger and support each other in pursuing football development. Ajax works with CF Pachuca, Athletico Paranaense, Gamba Osaka, and Sharjah FC.
During the Summit, the importance of these connections for the future and success of the involved clubs was emphasised. The meetings and presentations offered valuable insights into the workings of the network and the shared vision of talent development.
Head scout Kelvin de Lang highlighted the importance of collaboration with the various football associations. "Our partner clubs are located in fascinating countries and regions. Through these collaborations, we gain valuable market knowledge and maintain intensive contact to discuss talents. We must ensure it is attractive for top talents to come to Ajax eventually."
Summit Program
Upon arrival, all participants, who had just endured a long flight, were welcomed with a cup of coffee and a warm reception. This set the tone for a day full of connection and collaboration. The meeting was officially opened by technical director Alex Kroes, who introduced himself and emphasised the importance of this network for the future of the involved clubs.
"It is wonderful that we have been able to welcome all our international partner clubs. In a two-day program, we have jointly given more direction to the future of the multi-club network," Kroes stated with satisfaction. "We look forward to giving substance to this and further strengthening each other."

Kroes then spoke with the head of the Ajax Coaching Academy, Corné Groenendijk, about the network’s ambitions and the collective strength it brings. A special moment was when Athletico Paranaense presented Kroes with a gift, highlighting the warm bond between the clubs.
Director of Football Marijn Beuker then gave a presentation on Ajax's philosophy, sharing knowledge about how talent in players is recognised. This was followed by De Lang, who spoke about scouting and recruitment within Ajax, emphasising collective decision-making within the team.
"It is fantastic for Ajax and the other clubs that we are now all together for the first time," Groenendijk explained. "We have been working for years on building a network to broaden our scouting. The bigger your network, the more you can mean to each other, and in terms of youth academies, we can also support each other."

Networking opportunities 
There were plenty of networking opportunities during lunch, with everyone mixing and making new contacts. After lunch, the clubs presented themselves and their working methods, leading to valuable insights and inspiring conversations.
"When you can look each other in the eye, talk to each other, and eat together, you get to know each other better and build a bond," Groenendijk continued. "We hope to meet like this once or twice a year in the future, sometimes at Ajax and sometimes at one of the other clubs. A future Summit could, for example, be held in Mexico with Pachuca."
The partner clubs also reflected on a successful kick-off of the event, as Ocyr Azevedo Neto of Athletico Paranaense shared: "We are happy to be here in Amsterdam and to learn from Ajax. This experience provides valuable insights that we can bring back to Athletico, promoting innovation and positive change within our club. One of our core values is innovation: being open to new ideas from all over the world is crucial for our growth."
"Since the start of our collaboration, we have wanted to develop a closer bond with Ajax. Their commitment to change reflects our own efforts, and understanding how both clubs operate will help improve our partnership."

"A significant reason for our collaboration is to learn from the Ajax academy, which could have a considerable impact on our young players. The global hub that Ajax is creating is incredibly positive, and being chosen to be part of this network is a great honour. We believe this connection will grow stronger after these insightful days together."