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Ajax leads the way for the future of sport

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Written by : published Sunday 10th July 2011

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They led the way in the soccer world during the 1970s with Total Football, now Ajax are at it again, but this time off the pitch.

The Dutch giants have been experimenting with adidas, their kit sponsor, a new measuring programme that involves ultra-high technology clothing linked to iPads.

An international delegation from adidas met up with the team in De Lutte – Ajax’s pre-season training camp – to meet the club’s head of medical staff, Edwin Goedhart.

“With the new system, we can receive information about distance, speed and power in real time on the iPad,” said the club’s head doctor. “For a coach and other staff members, it’s very convenient to have access to that information during training.

“And the system is mobile, which is a huge advantage,” he said. “That way, the same things can be measured at a training camp or another location.”

The system, which was being tested for the very first time, involves numerous receptors being placed around the training area, receiving information from special ‘hyper modern’ shirts being worn by the players as base layers under their training kit.

All the information is then sent from the receptors to a linked iPad, allowing Ajax manager, Frank de Boer, to analyse his players’ exertions with his technical staff on the sidelines by a tap on the screen.

If this, as expected, becomes a success, then it will not take long for a new style of sports preparation to spread to all corners of the globe but that could be a while yet; Goedhart reiterates this is just the first test:

“We’re still going to test a few things with adidas,” he said. “We’ve gotten a good idea on how we can recuperate the data and how quickly the information becomes available.

“In addition, the players were able to see if the new shirt was comfortable. Adidas will go to work with our findings, so that the system can be adjusted according to our needs.

“We’re the first football club in the world who will work with this, so it is important we give a lot of feedback. That way, the system can be optimally designed.”

Adidas are, of course, a global brand, providing kit to a plethora of sports worldwide, from football and cricket to basketball and athletics.

With the help of adidas, Ajax may be about to change the face of world sport for a second time.

About the author Joe Smith

Joe Smith

My name is Joe Smith and I currently attend the University of Huddersfield in Yorkshire, England. I am in the first year of a Sports Journalism BA Hons degree with a view to becoming a professional sports journalist at a national newspaper. I help with the running of Caistor Town Cricket Club's website and also contribute to WriteAngleMedia, a company associated with various midalnds-based newspapers, reporting on semi-professional (non-league) football matches. My top three sports are cricket, football and tennis, closely followed by rugby league. I follow many sports teams, but  my favoured clubs are: Grimsby Town (football/soccer), Lancashire County Cricket Club and Huddersfield Giants (rugby league).

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