“We are getting into stoppage time in this thrilling Champions League final. The score is still Ajax 2, Barcelona 2. The Dutch club came back from two goals behind and are looking to score a third in these final minutes. It’s Janssen on the ball. A long pass to Sulejmani on the right. He runs past Abidal, this looks dangerous. Here comes the cross.. AND IT’S VAN HAAREN! WHAT A HIT! 3-2 Ajax! It’s unbe..-“. And the alarm rings.

The alarm at 07.00 am is always a sour way to wake up. The alarm at 07.00 after a dream you’d want to never end leaves a sour taste for the rest of the day.

Every football fan has daydreamt about a career as a professional football player.  Or at least dreamt about being the hero for you club. A moment that makes you immortal. You’d lie if you say you never did. I’d lie if I say I never did, because I have dreamt about it. I still do. Imagining what it’s like to wear the beautiful shirt week in week out. Imagining what it’s like to walk on the Amsterdam Arena’s grass. Imagining what it’s like to score the winning goal in a final for the club you love more than anything else.

I have played football for the same club ever since I was seven years old. I never had the real ambition to aim for the highest. I have been scouted and played for several KNVB (Dutch FA) teams but decided to quit when I was 14 because I didn’t enjoy it. Having fun is for me the most important aspect of playing football. If I don’t enjoy it, I’ll never be able to play the best I can.

A few weeks ago I read Ajax were looking into setting up a women’s team. That started to make me wondering again where I could have been if I really tried. It also made me dreaming again about playing for the club.

Ajax are not having their best period. It’s more by hit than by wit that the club is only five points away from being top of the table. They struggle to play the pressing and passing game Frank de Boer is eyeing. The many injuries don’t help either. The end of it isn’t even near. This is something you have little influence on. But I also miss the passion and fighting spirit on the pitch to win games. They need some dynamite under their bum. Sometimes it’s like they don’t even care. I find that unbelievable. If I was an Ajax player, I’d be the total opposite.

Even when I only think about entering the pitch in a sold out ArenA, I have goosebumps all over my body. Even the thought of training at Ajax’s famous training ground De Toekomst wearing Ajax’s training gear is enough to bring a huge smile on my face.

If I wasn’t a woman and if I was gifted with enough talent to become a professional footballer, playing for AFC Ajax in Amsterdam would mean the world to me. Nowadays you hear players at Ajax and other clubs say they ‘love’ the club. In this era, loyalty is a rare understanding in the world of the beautiful game. Money and ambition are two issues that lure players to other clubs. Only a very few are loyal in the way it’s meant to their club.

If I was that lucky to play for Ajax, to call myself an official Ajax player, I couldn’t think of leaving the club. I love this club so much it would feel as betrayal to turn my back to it. It’s the same as starting to support another club. You simply can’t because you have fallen in love with another club. And it’s real love. Forever.

Of course I would have excellent and horrific games but there’s one thing I would always do: show passion and will to win. Every single game I’d give all I have. I would chase players to get that ball back. Again and again. I’d fire balls on target with more passion I see on the pitch nowadays. I would probably have tears in my eyes every time I’d let the net ripple. Losing a game would hurt as much as it does now. Simply because I would be a supporter of the club and simply because I know how it hurts when Ajax lose. If I was an Ajax player I could do something about that. I would have influence on it. A big difference and I would make sure every game that I give myself 100% for this club, this shirt.

I wish our boys would show us more they love this club. I wish they would show that little bit of passion that’s needed to win games more often. I wish they would be able to imagine what it feels for us, supporters, to lose.

Maybe it’s just me but I have missed passion and fighting spirit this season. The passion I saw in their eyes on May 15, 2010. The day they beat Twente in a battle for the league title. I want to see it again. I know it’s in there, show it! It’s a key to winning games. It’s a key to winning the 31th championship.

And what’s a better game to start showing it this Sunday? De Klassieker:  Feyenoord – Ajax. There’s nothing sweeter than beating the rival at its own territory.

Advertisements