Founded on March 18, 1900 AFC Ajax is one of the largest and most storied clubs in European football. After their founding and acceptance into Dutch Football Ajax spent ten seasons in the country's second division before earning promotion for the 1911 season. The move to the first division did not last long though as just three seasons later the club was relegated for the first and only time in its illustrious history.
The fate of the club quickly changed with the arrival of trainer Jack Reynolds who would spend 35 years at the helm of the team. Under the leadership of this legendary coach Ajax won their first National Championship in 1918. From that point on Ajax could always be found at or near the top of the Dutch table. It was also Reynolds and his revolutionary training methods that built the foundation for what has now become the world famous Ajax Youth Training Program.
The historic win of 1918 was the first of what currently stands at an astonishing 33 league titles for the Amsterdam club. Five of those magical wins came in the decade of the 1930's when the dominance of the red and white was at one its highest points ever. The 1930's were also a special decade for the club as in 1934 they moved into what would become known as "De Meer." Their new stadium where which legends would be born. It was there that Ajax would call home fore over 60 years and be the place that the club would come to dominate Dutch football and grow into a power across Europe.
Ajax' first taste of European competition came in 1961 when the club became the first from the Netherlands to participate in the European Cup Winners Cup. Success on the European front loomed in the future as the club found a place in the 1969 Cup final before bringing home their first title in 1971. Starting with the magical victory in 1971 Ajax went on to win three consecutive European Champions Cups. In 1972, led by the world famous Johan Cruijff, Ajax had one of the best seasons ever by a professional football team winning the National Championship, the Dutch Cup, the European Champions Cup and the World Cup.
"De Meer" was also the place where Ajax would develop its world famous youth training program and develop some of the worlds best football players, a philosophy that is even more important to their success today.
The success of the late 1960's and early 1970's although impossible to duplicate was followed up by 25 more years of success for the club that included 11 National Championships in the final quarter of the century. The success was highlighted by another exciting venture in Europe as Ajax again became European and world champions in 1995.
Ajax definitively bids farewell to De Meer stadium one year after winning Champions League. The club moves to the much larger Amsterdam ArenA. The stadium is Ajax’s home base from that moment. The move is difficult for many Ajax fans and members, especially considering how many successes were celebrated in the old, trusted Ajax stadium over the previous 62 years. For coaches, players, and fans alike, De Meer had become a home away from home through the years. As Ajax experiences successes in the ArenA, an Ajax feeling steadily grows in the stadium.
In addition to the stadium, Ajax’s world famous youth academy also got a new home. The academy moved from Voorland to de Toekomst. The complex is a stone’s throw away from the Amsterdam ArenA. The Ajax players of the future are hard at work there. Wesley Sneijder, Urby Emanuelson, Rafael van der Vaart, Maarten Stekelenburg and Gregory van der Wiel are among the many players who were trained at de Toekomst. Since the arrival of coach Martin Jol, the first team also practices at the modern sports facility, which has an inspiring view of the ArenA.
With Jol coaching, Ajax experiences a good 2009-2010 year. Unfortunately, they miss the title by one point, but Ajax’s results are good. After 17 home games, the team only has 4 goals against (!). Ajax breaks not only the club record, but the Eredivisie record. In total, 106 goals are scored. The top scorer of Ajax and the Eredivisie is Luis Suarez. The Uruguayan player scores 35 times in 34 Eredivisie matches. The cherry on the cake is the KNVB Cup win, after a double header against Feyenoord. For the eighteenth time in history, Ajax wins the ‘silver pine cone’.
The outstanding performances were promising for the 2010-2011 season. But on December 6 2010, after a series of disappointing results, Martin Jol and Ajax announce the end of their partnership. Frank de Boer takes over, and under his leadership, Ajax de-thrones FC Twente as national champion in the final match of the season. Ajax wins the title for the thirtieth time.