It's the age-old footballing debate – do we focus on development or results? Some clubs, not many, manage to strike the balance just right, while others have too many overage players, and then there are those that have such a fantastic youth development programme that it is sometimes their biggest downfall… So what does the Ajax Cape Town's U19 side's victory over Tottenham Hotspur say about this?
Ajax's U19s were recently crowned champions of the NextGen Cup. This is no small feat; they had to overcome an Ecuadorian team in the semi-finals before crushing English giants Spurs 2-0 in the final. This presents quite the contrast to the senior team's current fortunes...
The Urban Warriors have had a shockingly poor run of form recently. They last won a game seven matches ago, and included in their recent losses was a pride-destroying 5-0 demolition at the hands of Bloemfontein Celtic.
Ajax are one of the youngest teams in the league, with an average age of just 24.8 (out of interest, Orlando Pirates' average age is 27.4). This has got many wondering why they don't just cut to the chase and promote their U19s to the senior team, as they clearly have the guns in their armory to cause an upset.
"Let them play for Ajax CT senior team, and challenge for league titles." – Chris Eubank
"I'm sure they can beat Pirates' senior team." – Cowcela
"Promote the whole team to first team." – DaBrisco Nation
"Ajax is good with development. I wish the so-called big guns of Mzansi can learn from the Urban Warriors.” – Kpoalekhosi
Ajax do South African football a great service by bringing up some of our most promising youngsters, but they often pay the price as their players get poached. Nonetheless, beating Spurs' U19s is no Mickey Mouse achievement, all congratulations to the young Urban Warriors, keep shining, keep making us proud.
What would you do in Ajax's position? Would you promote the U19s? Why does such a seemingly talented senior team underperform?