Ajax, TIPS model, a unique and special approach in football

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Ajax are still very special in football, not only because they fifty years ago dominated Europe and won the major titles with a very special team of players, and of course the total football revolution build by Rinus Michels and a certain Johan Cruyff among their fantastic group of players.

They have their own system on how to find the best young players based on four special factors. The TIPS model is a traditional method of spotting talent among young players. The TIPS model developed by the Ajax youth academy stands for technique, insight, personality and speed. This method proves to be a way of choosing the perfect player for your competitive team.

So if you fail in one of these four key areas you will not get into the Ajax academy. You need a bit of all, and without them you will not be a player of the highest standards, basically not being able to win a place in the Ajax first team and from there exhale and move on to bigger and better.

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The club from Amsterdam was originally formed 121 years ago, in the year of 1900. Current manager is Erik ten Hag and he has been in this position since 2017. To see a manager at this post of more than four years is unusual as they also tend to be attracted by the bigger and better.

The club used a model of starting their own clubs in different parts of the World, but in present time instead moved on to build affiliates with other clubs and today they do have Palmeiras and Cruzeiro in Brazil as major partners, and also working closely with Barcelona and Cape Town Spurs.

The number 14 shirt is a retired number at the club, once in the use of Johan Cruyff, and from 2007, the 60th birthday of the man himself it’s never been used.

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Looking back and in the early years of the club, managers did come thick and fast, most of them British. The first of them was an Irish man named Jack Kirwan, he had the manager post for five years, from 2010 to 2015. And after that a great group of British born was chosen for the post, the last Brit to be in charge was Vic Buckingham (64-65) who had also coached the side on an earlier occasion (59-61).

They are this season the holding champions and are of course in the Champions League group stages with the likes of Sporting Lisbon, Borussia Dortmund and Besiktas, starting the festival with a grand win and are current leaders.

Despite being seen as a selling club in Europe, they also attract masses of talent, being in those affiliates pushing players in and out, and always seeing talent that often flourish and finds the road to the next step being sold for monumental fees to majestic teams.

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They are also clever to find experienced players that can hold on to the culture, be part of the club for a number of seasons and help younger players through. Over the years you have also seen players return to the club after successful periods at higher places. One grand example of today is Davy Klaassen who has returned after spells at Everton and Werder Bremen in Premier League and Bundesliga.

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Maarten Stekelenburg and Dusan Tadic are two other players with a long and grand career in football, both enjoying their football with Ajax at present being in their thirtees. A number of their present players are also given high attention from other clubs. Ryan Gravenberch is one player that is seen as a massive selling object, only 19 years of age, and will probably bag in a solid fee.

Watching on as Ajax are just following their grand modell, selling players, building their club stronger and competing at the highest level possible, just a great example to follow.


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