Ajax USA in Amsterdam, March 2002

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This is the place to ask questions and post comments about Ajax USA's second trip to see AFC Ajax Amsterdam in the Arena, in March 2002! I know there will be a lot of Many of you will have questions about this trip, and we are happy to answer. Please post your questions here, so that others can get benefit from your inquiry and our answer!

-- Anonymous, November 08, 2001


O jogador Jari Litmanen ainda joga no Ajax? Nao tenho tido mais noticias do futebol holandes, por favor me enviem um e -mail respondendo, pois sou fa do Litmanen. Obrigado. Carla

-- Anonymous, April 20, 2002

So, 'Ajax USA in Amsterdam, March 2002' is now over. It started with a very exciting game against Feyenoord; it ended with a fine 4-0 win over De Graafschap. What happened in between? A lot. Too much to tell right now. Stories and pictures will appear on Ajax USA soon.

What I do want to say is that it's been one more great, great, great week. It was great to see Jim, Peter 'Floyd' Hassebroek, 'Mystery' Bob Zylstra, Ben Bell and Raymond 'van der' Ngiau again. I had to pleasure to get acquainted with Ernie 'The Ass Of God' Booden (a.k.a. General Booty), Andy Booden, Jack Papegaay and of course our beloved Lady Lillie...

We had so much fun. Even watching training in the pooring rain was fun with this group. On that occasion, our 'special friends', John O'Brien and Joey Didulica, spontanously walked up to us to shake hands and have a chat.

This morning, I joined the attendees for the last time, for breakfast at their hotel in beautiful Amsterdam-South. And then: time for a last hug and bye-bye. They were here for nine days, but man, did time fly...

-- Anonymous, March 11, 2002

Greetings from across the pond back home in the USA. Hope all is well with everyone. A fortuitous draw is better than a loss (especially against the F-word)! Ray don't forget to bring back some seeds, err I mean bulbs ;) - Greg

-- Anonymous, March 06, 2002

We had a great day today, despite the cold weather. Training was fun, and Amsterdam is, well, Amsterdam. Never dull... Really looking forward to Saturday's Young Ajax game v Young Willem II. I think that's gonna be great...

-- Anonymous, March 06, 2002

Are you guys having fun in Amsterdam? There are some pictures of you on the official website :)

-- Anonymous, March 06, 2002

Absolutely right, this is, thus far, a rumor, but the reports seem to be growing.

Apparently Roger Henrotay, Mido's agent, will be meeting with a Leo Beenhakker to discuss Mido's future with the team, and where he stands among Koeman's plans.

Apperently Koeman made it very clear to him that he's not a starter for Ajax.

Here are some of Henrotay's comments to a close source of mine, judge for yourselves...I personally have always liked Ajax. A great club with a huge fan-base and a tremendously rich tradition, obviously if it wasnt such a good club, these great young talents would not be there now.

Anyway, here is a bit of what Henrotay had to say..

"Last year there was a club from England, a Premiership club, who wanted to sign him"... (he didn't reveal the names exactly)

"I am not sure if Ajax want to sell, he has a contract for five seasons, so everything is up to Ajax. "

"I have a meeting with Leo Beenhakker on Thursday."

I just learned of this as of a few minutes ago. I do not know any particulars beyond this. please keep us updated and i'll do the same when i have updates.

I will publish this news shortly.

-- Anonymous, March 05, 2002

Yes Menno it is a rumour, but it was in the newspaper Het Parool and they are very inside Ajax. But on-topic. How is the trip going so far? Or are you all stoned and drunk, so you will not be able to go to a internetcafe or something ;)

-- Anonymous, March 05, 2002

Hosam: please note that F. Otsen is just sharing a rumour with us here. He called it a rumour himself, so I'm not correcting him. Yuo seem to take it as 'news', though, which it's not. This Mido stuff was not reported (let alone confirmed) by one of the news sources I consider reliable. And frankly, stories about players leaving are everywhere, always. So the rumour alone does not worry me too much.

I would regret it enormously of it were true, though. I have a lot of faith in both Zlatan and Mido. They're good guys. Typical Ajax players, although they're from Sweden and Egypt, respectively. But they're really two guys that are making me feel good. They're also very young, so I'm just hoping Ajax allow them a 'warm-up' year first, and I also hope that Mido and Zlatan will be patient enough to think the same about Ajax.

-- Anonymous, March 05, 2002

This is rather surprising I must say, especially when considering Zlatan's poor finishing. He appears to be big for no reason. I personally can understand Machlas being first choice striker when considering his experience, but Mido should be second choice at worst. Unfortunately, he's being played at left-wing, something he's never done in his life... from Zamalek to Gent in Belgium, Mido has always been a striker, as well as a prolific, dangerous goal-scorer. If your news is indeed true, unfortunately for Koeman, this would be a Ajax's loss, not Mido's.

Thanks for the news, we'll see what happens.

P.S. I heard from a souce this morning that Mido was in Belgium for some reason, perhaps visting a friend of his playing with Gent (Hosni). Perhaps he passed by on his way to Cairo...

-- Anonymous, March 04, 2002

Ehm.. Hossam, maybe you can ask Mido yourself because he is in Cairo right now. And if the rumours are right, Mido won't be playing for Ajax at the end of the season. Koeman had a talk with Mido and said he was his 3rd choice, behind Machlas and Zlatan. Mido said that he wanted to play instead of sitting on the bench so he wants to leave. A few English clubs are interested. He will have a talk today with Leo Beenhakker(technical director) about his future at Ajax.,

-- Anonymous, March 04, 2002

To all of you in Amsterdamn... have fun!!! We'll be watching the Classic live thanks to Fox Sports World.

I'm the Editor-in-Chief of Egyptian-Football.com, and obviously we at the site have a vested interest in Ajax since Egyptian Ahmed "Mido" Hossam joined the club.

Sorry about the cancellation of the PSV match... you'll surely have fun regardless.

If you get the privlege to meet Mido, please let him know about all his great fans on Ajax-USA... mention me (Hosam) in particular if you don't mind :) If you could somehow get an email address, that would be quite awsome.

I will continue to update the site's administrators when we have news relevent to Ajax - likely being in relation to Mido, perhaps even Hatem Trebelsi.

Kind regards,

Hosam (Egyptian-Football.com)

-- Anonymous, March 02, 2002

We are here, the weather is beautiful, and most important, I have a BIG STACK OF AJAX - F*YENOORD TICKETS IN MY HAND! Okay, so Ajax-PSV would've been great, but THE CLASSIC IS WHAT IT'S ALL ABOUT! We are all getting ready to party hearty, before/during/after the great victory tomorrow. Stay tuned to this station as the situation develops...

-- Anonymous, March 02, 2002

Congrats Rich!!!


-- Anonymous, March 02, 2002

Congratulations Rich - hope Jack starts life with an Ajax win.

-- Anonymous, March 02, 2002

MY GOD! It happened again! The Amstel Cup match between Ajax and PSV has been cancelled!!! Not because a few Americans come all the way to see this match, but because the Dutch Railway doesn't want to transport 1600 peasants from Eindhoven to Amsterdam. This is no joke, but really true! It has been confirmed by the Dutch Press Asociation

The alternative was to transport them by bus, but then the Amsterdamn local government didn't allow more than 500 supporters for safety reasons. Then the chairman of PSV started crying and didn't want THAT to happen and said he would boycott the game if only 500 PSV suporters were welcome. So they now are looking for a new date.

So no Ajax-PSV for our dear Americans (who are now travelling to Amsterdam, unaware of this terrible news). What a small fucked up country we're living in!!!

-- Anonymous, March 01, 2002

I just wanted to let everyone know that I hope they have a wonderful trip! I wish I could be joining you guys, but as of 2/20/02 my wife Kathy gave birth to our first child.

I am proud to announce another Ajax and Holland supporter, Jack Richard Savare who weighed in at 8 lbs. even 20" long.

Both Jack and I will watch our first Ajax match together on Sunday morning when Ajax takes on its major rivals Feyenoord.

What a way to break my new addition in with a Classic Ajax-Fword match!

-- Anonymous, March 01, 2002

An interesting announcement for the attendees of our trip appeared on Ajax.nl today...

Ajax is at the top of the Eredivisie table, has two Amstel Cup semi final slots and is celebrating its 102nd birthday on March 18. To celebrate all that, the Ajax Fanshop has a special offer: if you purchase an Ajax home shirt at the Ajax Fanshop in the Amsterdam ArenA, you get the away shirt FOR FREE.

That's right: the away shirt for exactly zero dollars!

We'll most definitely visit the Ajax Fanshop on Tuesday, the 'ArenA Day' of our trip... Bring your credit card :-)

-- Anonymous, February 28, 2002

Happy Trip!!!

-- Anonymous, February 26, 2002

According to folks on the Ajax-Listserv, Ajax is only 2 goals away from scoring their 5000th goal in an official game! That means we will almost certainly be there for this historic moment (unless they fail to score two goals in three home games).

-- Anonymous, February 25, 2002

You guys are the most luckiest people on earth!!

Enjoy it (and i bet u will.....)


1 ding is zeker Ajax wint de beker!

(one thing is sure, Ajax will win the cup!)

-- Anonymous, February 09, 2002

Ajax and Young Ajax both won their Amstel Cup 1/4-finals tonight, which means they will BOTH play their 1/2-final matches WHILE WE'RE IN AMSTERDAM in March!!!

Now, it's probably just speculation, but the VI website is reporting that Ajax and Young Ajax will play another home double-header on March 06. How awesome would THAT be!?

If that's NOT the case (and I don't think the draw has occurred yet), then it could be one home and one away, or even two away games in Utrecht and PSV, two high-risk opponents. Which means we probably would NOT be able to travel to those games. But STILL, lots of partying-fun while watching those games on television from a bar in Amsterdam. Not too bad either.

In one form or another, we're getting ***5*** Ajax games during our trip! - Ajax-Feyenoord - Ajax-PSV - Young Ajax-Utrecht - Young Ajax-Young Willem II - Ajax-De Graafschap

How the hell are we gonna survive that!? :-)

-- Anonymous, February 07, 2002

Hi there! i wish you guys all the fun in Holland! i'm sure you'll love it. How about drinking beer in the sportscafe on the Leidseplein?? Let me know if i can do anything for you guys, i'll be happy to help you out.


P.S. Menno, is it you who is always rolling up the Ajax-usa banner?

-- Anonymous, February 05, 2002

Good question! Thanks for asking... If AMS Hotel Holland is like every other European I've stayed at, they allow you to check your bags into a 'baggage room' whenever you arrive. So, just take the KLM shuttle from the airport to the hotel, check your bags, and ask when you can return to check in, etc. No problemo.

-- Anonymous, January 31, 2002

I'm sure this is going to be adressed in the information packet, but I must ask any ways. Our flight will be arriving early in the morning on the 2nd and I was wondering if there is some place that we may be able to put of bags until check in. This way we won't have to sit around the hotel lobby with our belongings or lug them around with us.

-- Anonymous, January 31, 2002

Yup, Tobi is indeed correct. I just spoke with Ajax Travel. The KLM shuttle, which is part of the package, will take each Ajax USA traveler from Schiphol Airport directly to the AMS Hotel Holland, and back again at the end of the trip. :-)

-- Anonymous, January 22, 2002

Bytheway, I think the KLM shuttle takes you to the hotel. I've seen 'em do it =) It's not so likely they take you to Central Station.

-- Anonymous, January 19, 2002

I'd like to add some information about getting from the airport to your hotel. The easiest and cheapest (as Vincent suggested) is the train. You can buy a train ticket at any of the machines in the main hall of Schiphol (the hall where Burger King is at) or buy your ticket from the ticket counter also located in the mainhall. While you're at it might as well buy first class tickets because for such a small distance the ticket's aren't that much more expensive but then you have more chance of a nice quiet seat. Ok part two..one optoin would be to buy a train ticket to Station Amsterdam Lelylaan. Get of there and take tram #1 in the direction of the 'Centraal Station'. For hotel AMS Hotel Holland (162 P.C.Hooftstraat, Amsterdam) you can get of one stop before 'Leidseplein' and walk or go one stop further and get off at 'Leidseplein' itself and then take tram # 2 or # 5 (in the opposite direction of where u came from) one stop and get off there and walk straight into the 'PC Hooftstraat'. For AMS Hofpark Hotel & Résidence (34-36 Koninginneweg, Amsterdam) you can do the same route as shown above but you have to get off at 'Leidseplein' and then take the tram #2 (once again in the opposite direction) and get of somewhere at the 'Koningineweg'. Although if you take the train to 'Centraal Station' you get a better "first-time" experience i feel. Make sure you exit from the main hall for a nice first view =) Confused? I am =) Therefor if you want some information about getting around in Amsterdam or in general feel free to mail me. And to check out my pic in the Ajax-USA gallery (thanx Jim!)

I hope to see all of you in March!

Ajax 4 Life!

-- Anonymous, January 19, 2002

From BestFares.com; their US-Amsterdam promotion extended through Jan 24:


Fly from New York City to Amsterdam or Paris for as low as $285 roundtrip and we will throw in a free stopover in London and two free nights in London at a three-star hotel. That's a WOW! You can depart from 21 U.S. cities to your choice of 45 European destinations. If you want more bang for your buck, check out our London for Free promotion at Bestfares.com

-- Anonymous, January 17, 2002

You are correct, Vincent. In fact, if you'll read the fine print in the Ajax USA package, you'll see that your package price includes a "Complimentary KLM Airport Shuttle Service between Amsterdam Schiphol and hotel/city center (NL 30 value)." I'm not exactly sure whether the shuttle takes you to the hotel or to Central Station, but I will find out in the next few days.

COMPLETE information about what to do before you leave (what to bring, etc.) and when you arrive at Schiphol (how to get to the hotel, how to check in, claim match tickets, etc.) will be included in the Attendees Bulletin which will be emailed to each attendee in about two weeks (Around Feb 01).

-- Anonymous, January 17, 2002

There are KLM shuttles from the airport to the hotel and some hotels and airlines seem to provide a shuttle service. But I guess you have to ask the airline and hotel to make sure. However I advise you not to take the cab, cause they're damned expensive! You may end up payin 100 dollars or more for a cabride depending on the traffic. You are better off to take the train, it'll take you directly to Central Station for about 3 dollars and probably even quicker than a taxi I think and then you can take a cab or a tram.

-- Anonymous, January 17, 2002

I just booked my flights into Amsterdam for the morning of the 2nd. and I was wondering what the best ways were to get to the hotel. Are there shuttles available or is a cab the way to go? Also, I know that airport currency exchanges can be very unkind to our pockets so does anyone know the trick to easy exchanges? (I have seen that the Euro currency value is almost to that of the dollar. Im sure the cabbies won't mind some good old American tender if need be.)

-- Anonymous, January 17, 2002

MY TWO CENTS..... For those on the fence about Ajax-USA 2002

I was a participant in the inaugural Ajax-USA sojourn and I am also going this year. I was filled with much apprehension before the first trip. It seemed kind of expensive and I had never met or even spoken to anyone before I signed on the first time. After a day or two misgivings I may have harbored concerning the trip were gone. It was a heck of a lot of fun. This year I think will be better, Ajax- USA staff have experience, more soccer, friendships have developed, and it is a lot cheaper, last year I think it was $1290. this year two-star approximately $890. and you get two more nights, ie. two more days of Amsterdam and $400. less, airfares are lower this year, substantial savings. The Ajax guides are great people. If it is like last year you will get step on to the practice field among the player and coaches and they are talking with you, (the New York Jets or whoever are NOT doing anything like that). If is your trip, do as much or as little as you want with the group, it will not matter to the rest of us, a memorable vacation is what we are trying to get accomplished, thats what all of the first timers had last year.


-- Anonymous, January 13, 2002

Wow. This is a good deal. Bestfares.com is now promoting the following:

21 U.S. Cities to ... Amsterdam From $282 RT

"Bestfares.com members can travel from 21 U.S. cities to Amsterdam plus receive a free stopover in London from $282 roundtrip; children ages two-11 fly from $226 roundtrip. You could save up to $500."

Some examples:

Full story: http://www.bestfares.com/travel/desks/story.asp?id=50745

FYI, I booked my own travel through BestFares.com. They are legit. You do have to subscribe to the BestFares magazine ($69/US) in order to book a trip through them, but it's worth it. The magazine is pretty cool. If you travel at all, it'll more than pay for itself within a year.

-- Anonymous, January 07, 2002

One of the best things about yesterday's double Amstel Cup victory and the quarter finals draw, is that Ajax-1 and Ajax-2 both play quarter final home games in January against opponents that look "beatable".

Which means that 'Ajax In March 2002' will almost surely contain an Amstel Cup semi final, maybe even two!! If they both win and both play at home in the semis, we'll probably have one more of those great "2-in-1" spectacles. If one of them plays at home, we'll attend that one. If one of them (or both) plays an away game, we'll try to attend that.

This is an extra reason to sign up for this trip!! Ajax vs Feyenoord, Ajax vs De Graafschap, a Young Ajax home game and one or maybe even two Amstel Cup semi finals!! What more can you ask for...? ;-)

-- Anonymous, December 13, 2001

Hey folks,

We're now accepting PayPal payment for the March 2002 trip. That makes it a lot easier on everybody, including me. I also think the package prices will come down slightly, since it allows me to reduce my banking fees. :-)

See booking instructions for details.

-- Anonymous, December 03, 2001

Hey you guys, when you are in the ArenA, pass by number 124, the little shop there I mean. Get free drinks on me :-)

-- Anonymous, November 29, 2001

There's no problem right now. We have six bookings. The only thing that might get thin in the near future is the availability of rooms in the less expensive Two Star package. Currently we only have 10 rooms reserved, and 5 are already claimed. There are still 14 rooms available in the Three Star hotel, and I think Ajax Travel can find more rooms in another Two Star hotel if the Hotel Holland books up, but it might be more fun to be in this hotel with the "inaugural" travelers who have already signed up (myself included).

We can have a total of 25 attendees, since that's the total number of tickets for Ajax-Feyenoord available from Ajax Travel. I will update the web page and this discussion forum if we begin to approach that maximum.

-- Anonymous, November 27, 2001

I guess this message is for Jim..... How many spaces are still open? And how fast are these spots being taken? I am trying to plan my work schedule so that I can join this wonderful group, but I am worried that I will not be able to solidify it quick enough.

-- Anonymous, November 26, 2001

I have to say: I had never expected last year's full group to come over to Amsterdam again - and I am thrilled that you're coming!

Last year's inaugural was an experiment in many ways. We tried to involve Ajax in our plans, but never seemed to get hold of the right people, so we had to make alternative arrangements (buying match tickets off an agent, for example). Good, useful contacts were established with some really helpful people at Ajax when we were at the ArenA in person (which was apparently an important thing; and now we have those contacts). We're reaping the fruits of that this year: the price of the packages we can offer is much better than last year.

But it was also a human 'experiment'. Was it all gonna work? Was it gonna be fun? Were we gonna get along? The fact that last year's entire group is coming again proves that it was GOOD. The small group of Ajax USA'ers we had last year, was the best group we could have wished, on our first trip to Amsterdam. From the very first moments, we seemed to have this chemistry going: there were nicknames, running gags, there was a lot of laughing and a lot of Heineken. It worked, on a human level, in a truly, truly great way. Sometimes we behaved like little kids, but hey: kids are nice! :-)

This time around, it feels like a bunch of old friends is coming to visit Bastiaan and me, here in Ajax City. Last year's group is the backbone of this year's group. Which means that, no matter how many 'new' people are going (many, I hope!!) and what kind of people they are, it will surely 'work' again in the 2002 group. No doubt about it.

-- Anonymous, November 13, 2001

Update: 100% of last year's travelers have re-upped. We can remove the "almost." :-)

- jim

PS: Thanks for the compliment, Bob. But no discount for calling us handsome. Eye exam, maybe. But no discount. ;-P

-- Anonymous, November 13, 2001

Almost 100 percent of last years attendees signing up for Ajax-USA 2002 within a day or two of the announcment of the trip is testimony of how enjoyable the first trip was. The Ajax-USA March 2002 calender of events looks to be even better than last year. Don't miss out!


Lots of Ajax Voetbal, laughs, beers and the Ajax chaperones Jim, Menno and Bastiaan they are such handsome men....

-- Anonymous, November 13, 2001

To my surprise, I honestly didin't think many of last year's attendees would sign up for this coming, second trip, due to family/work/financial/other etc. reasons. But I was wrong, and am glad I am wrong ! Almost everyone signed up immedaitely for the Second Annual. This is a testament of the degree of fun and enjoyment we all had during last year's April trip. For those who have been to Amsterdam but want the football experience, where else can you find a better package than this Ajax in March trip ?! Aside from watching beautiful football, your stay will be guided by local experts who can give you that personal, down-to-earth touch that other travel guides can only dream of! They can tell you where Cruijff honed his skills when still a child; which pub is friendly, which flea market to shop at and I can tell you which Italian restaurant has the loveliest waitress ! And if you've not been to A'dam before this is the time to go. You'll be travellng with fellow Ajacieds. You can mingle with the group or go about it alone; it's your choice. The football alone is worth the price of admission. Coupled with that the extra curricular arrangements available to the traveller, this promises to be a trip to be remembered as among the best !

Cheers all, Ray

-- Anonymous, November 12, 2001

Hi all! Can't wait. I was in on the last trip - it was great. Wouldn't miss it for anything. And what a big game!

-- Anonymous, November 12, 2001

Thanks to last year's participants for posting those nice remarks about the trip. The best testimonial, however, is the fact that almost all (all but two) of last year's attendees signed up again for this upcoming trip within the first 24 hours after we announced it. :- )

-- Anonymous, November 12, 2001

Excellent tradition you guys are starting! I hope to catch up a bit longer with every1 this time. Great game you picked too. Make sure you come to the North side of the stadium 2 - 1.5 hours before the game as we 'await' the arrival of the cockroaches. Always nice to have so many people together with the same passion.....AJAX! (not to mention anti - f&%*#d sentiments)...I hope you'll have a blast like last year.

-- Anonymous, November 11, 2001

Yes, I'll be back. I encourage everyone not to miss this. The inaugural trip was magical and this one promises to be special too.

-- Anonymous, November 09, 2001

Response to Ajax USA in Amsterda, March 2002

You can get a good feel for what last year's (April 2001) trip was like by visiting our Trip Photo page and Discussion page.

-- Anonymous, November 09, 2001

Response to Ajax USA in Amsterda, March 2002

So, Ben tells me that Mystery Bob & Peter Floyd ARE making this second trip - that'll be great !

First round of Heinekens on me !


-- Anonymous, November 09, 2001

Response to Ajax USA in Amsterda, March 2002

If you are considering eating on the trip to soak up some of the alcohol then can I recommend our favourite establishment - Eat at Jo's - fantastic food, service and price !!!!!! - to be found adjoining the Melkweg.

-- Anonymous, November 09, 2001

Response to Ajax USA in Amsterda, March 2002

On the subject of travel, I want to emphasize that Ajax Travel can make flight arrangements for you. Just send an enquiry to "travel@ajax.nl for more information.

There are some great prices right now at US Air. I was able to book a round-trip flight from San Francisco to Amsterdam (stopping over in Philadelphia) for just $424.00! You might try Travelocity for fare comparisons.

-- Anonymous, November 08, 2001

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