Ajax gets talented midfielder (14) from ADO: ‘In the end beautiful for everyone’

In the ‘Kweekvijver’ section, Ajax Showtime zooms in weekly on Ajax’s showpiece: the youth academy.

Ajax has strengthened the selection of the O15 for next season with Hasan Ayyildiz. The fourteen-year-old midfielder comes over from ADO Den Haag and is determined to show himself immediately in Amsterdam. “The bar is set high, but that’s just fine with me.”

Hi Hasan, congratulations on your move to Ajax! Will this be the second professional club you will play for?

‘Yes. I played for three amateur clubs before joining ADO when I was 12. I played two seasons at ADO, in the O13 and last season in the O15. I skipped the O14. I actually expected that I would play at ADO again next season, but at the end of the season Ajax suddenly became very serious.’

How did that come about?

‘I had drawn up a development plan together with ADO and we evaluated weekly how it was going. During one of those weekly conversations I was told by ADO that Ajax was keeping a serious eye on me. I had been followed by Ajax for two years, but this time the interest was much more concrete. In the end it went very quickly. A few weeks ago I was told that Ajax wanted to take over me. That was quite unexpected.’

Did you have to think about that for a long time?

‘Actually not, because for such a great club as Ajax you naturally want to play. There was also interest from other clubs, but when Ajax comes, those other clubs are directly at the back of the row, haha. The feeling at Ajax was immediately good. They have clearly stated what they expect from me. The important thing is that everything happens here at Champions League level, that’s been said several times. The bar is set high, but that’s just fine with me. I met my new team and already knew half of the boys from Oranje U14. I think this is a big advantage because I can’t easily play in a team where I don’t know anyone. So this will be different at Ajax.’

How did the people at ADO Den Haag react to your departure?

‘ADO is very sorry. They wanted to keep me for one or two more seasons and I really had a great time there, but if Ajax wants you, you don’t say quickly no† I became undefeated champion at ADO, developed well and had a great time. I’m from The Hague, so it means something to me that I’m leaving ADO now. But Ajax and ADO have made a nice deal about me, so in the end this is good for everyone.’

What kind of player has Ajax brought in with you?

‘I am a technical player. I can attack, have a good through ball and can win duels. I am a real number 8 and watch a lot of images of Andrés Iniesta. When Naci Ünüvar was still playing in midfield, he was also a great role model for me. I really like his way of playing football. Hopefully I can meet Naci at Ajax next year. I’ve already had contact with his brother, Emre.’

What would you like to do as a footballer?

“I want to learn to turn more, shorter and faster in midfield. In addition, I want to get even better at everything I’m already good at.’

What are your long-term ambitions?

‘I plan to stay at Ajax for a very long time and hope to have a great time. I really want to make my debut in the Johan Cruijff ArenA and win many prizes with Ajax. I’m going to give everything and I’m ready to start at Ajax. I am really looking forward to it.’

Thijs Zwagerman (Twitter: @ThijsZwagerman † email: t.zwagerman@ajaxshowtime.com)

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