START: Ari Efstathiou and Edwin van der Sar. Photo: CHRIS RICCO/BACKPAGEPIX

Ajax Cape Town’s sparkling new Lambda Institute is another shining example of the club’s commitment to developing South Africa’s best footballers.

Last Friday, parent club Ajax Amsterdam’s Edwin van der Sar was present to officially open the doors to the already-operational facility.

Everything done on the day was done according to the club motto “No youth, No future”.

For Ajax, it was a high point in a tough run of seasons. And particularly this year, after they were relegated from the PSL and saw coach Muhsin Ertugral leave.

But it is great to know that through all of the chaos and turmoil, the club have made this school their focus.

They are determined to do what they do best: make football players.

Think of Tashreeq Matthews, the most recent success story from the club after the teen won a move to German giants Borussia Dortmund.

He is already training with the first team alongside the likes of England teen Jadon Sancho and 2014 World Cup goal hero Mario Gotze.

And that is not even mentioning the Ikamva graduates all around the PSL and abroad - Abbubaker Mobara, Taariq Fielies, Riyaad Norodien, Keagan Dolly, Khama Billiat and Thulani Serero.

The Lambda Institute, though, is more than that.

Named for the eleventh letter of the Greek alphabet, it represents the 11 players on the pitch, which if you look closely at the Ajax badge is also the number of strokes in the logo.

What the seven kids at the school will learn is not only about the game, but where they will be skilled with life lessons.

It’s a huge step in the right direction for kids who are en route to the professional ranks.

We’ve heard tons of stories of players going broke after their careers are over because they were given bad advice about what to do with their money.

Ajax haven’t had much of a happy year this season, but with the Lambda Institute, hopefully, some of the future graduates will make a smoother time ahead.

The kids won’t be ready to help them fight for promotion back to the top flight this term, though.

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