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Football | Absa Premiership

Jan Versleijen © Backpagepix

Youth is answer - new Ajax coach



Ajax Cape Town are to turn increasingly to their younger players as a way to both get themselves out of a relegation quagmire and to build for the future.

New coach Jan Versleijen, whose first game in charge saw his side squander several chances and give away a lead to end up drawing with Moroka Swallows, insists he will keep faith with the team’s younger players as they prepare to take on high flying Platinum Stars on Saturday.

“Ajax have always had good, talented players and the only way to develop the youngsters is to let them play,” he said

Versleijen left out the likes of Nazeer Allie, Matthew Booth, Granwald Scott and Sander Westerveld for Wednesday’s match at the Cape Town Stadium, making clear his thinking as he takes over from Jan Pruijn on a six month contract.

“I’m quite happy with the talent we have. Allie and Scott had injury problems over the last week and I played with the younger players in all the practice games and they did well. There was no reason therefore to change.”

The likes of Keegan Dolly, Travis Graham and Toriq Losper all impressed and are expected to keep their place for the encounter against Stars at the Royal Bafokeng Sports Palace.

Versleijen has also changed the central defence dropping Booth and Allie in a surprise move and moving Thulani Hlatshwayo from fullback to alongside Thato Mokeke.

“If you look at or defensive game, Thulani has a storming performance,” added the new coach.

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