Ajax Cape Town won their first trophy since 2009 at the weekend, and they did so with 78% of their matchday squad being homegrown talent.
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In the squad, 14 of the 18 players that Roger de Sa named for the MTN8 final clash with Kaizer Chiefs this weekend came through the Urban Warriors’ academy at some stage in their career, with only Anssi Jaakkola the only non-academy player in their starting XI.
Jaakkola, Abel Mabaso, Prince Nxumalo and Erwin Isaacs were the only four players who haven’t come through the Ajax ranks in their careers, and while guys like Nathan Paulse, Franklin Cale and Ndiviwe Mdabuka have played elsewhere, their footballing lives started at Ikamva.
The win was Roger de Sa’s fifth-time lucky in cup finals having lost the last four that he has been involved in with Orlando Pirates and Ajax, and he will be delighted that he managed to lift a trophy with such a young side.
With an average age of just 24, and just two players (Paulse & Cale) over the age of 30, De Sa will be eager to try and keep his key players and make sure there is more success in the future for current MTN8 champions.