Alkmaar’s talents reign in Europe: “AZ has the best youth academy in the world”

“This is great. I have no words for this. We can’t use a pen to describe how beautiful it is.” AZ coach Jan Sierksma is overjoyed after the talent team’s brilliant 5-0 win over Hajduk Split in the UEFA Youth League final.

“AZ has the best youth academy in the world, we showed it. Not just this game, but the whole tournament,” said Ernest Poku, who scored two goals in the final in Geneva.

“We got the trophy and I can say we are the best in the world,” says forward Mexx Meerdink, who was good for two goals and an assist in the final.

Alkmaarder’s victory in the Youth League with a 5-0 win over Eintracht Frankfurt, a 3-0 win over FC Barcelona and a 4-0 win over Real Madrid ended his last fight against Hajduk with another brilliant victory.

towel over your head

It was still very exciting for Meerdink to see if he could make it to the final. He was injured in the first league game of the “big” AZ on Sunday against RKC Waalwijk.

“Yesterday I was sitting in the locker room with a towel on me,” says the 19-year-old attacker. “I thought it wouldn’t be a final. But I did everything for it and now I’m here with two goals and an assist.”

“But of course it’s not just about me,” she says hastily. “Great teamwork, we accomplished that as a team.”

Coach Sierksma was told at nine on Monday morning that Meerdink would be available for another half. “It was really a rollercoaster ride,” Coach said. “Well, no, well, no, but it worked really well.”

Meerdink: “And from Alkmaar I am now in Geneva and lifting the trophy. What a great week.” He fell after the rest and luckily nothing bothered him anymore. “Just because of peat fever,” the AZ attacker laughs.

Poku also scored two goals in the final, but that doesn’t mean he sees himself as one of the big guys: “Everyone is equally important, I’m grateful to the team for being able to shine and score two goals.”

“And Mexx scored two goals again, he only needed a half,” the attacker, with a large AZ flag around his neck, laughs. “What man. We just won 5-0. Great.”

Source: NOS

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