Ajax coach turns to youth

Open to Premier League opportunity ... Frank De Boer (Getty)

Ajax coach Frank de Boer insists the Eredivisie giant will rely on its youth system to address the northern summer exodus of players.

Jan Vertonghen, Vurnon Anita, Theo Janssen and Gregory van der Wiel departed for other clubs during the recent transfer window.

De Boer, who is preparing his side to face early Eredivisie leader FC Twente, views their departure as a chance to blood the next generation of Ajax stars.

"If everyone thought in terms of opportunities instead of problems, that would yield surprising results. I love the challenge of fixing things," he said.

"We begin training our players from 18 years of age, working hard to introduce players into the first team every two to three years, as was the case with Rafael van der Vaart.

"The stakes are always high for those concerned, but it's just a matter of thinking in opportunities rather than challenges."

FC Twente's Brazilian-born Dutch defender Douglas expects Steve McClaren's side to challenge for silverware this season.

"We are unbeaten this season playing in the Eredivisie. The team is playing very well and we can play for titles," Douglas said.

Second placed Vitesse Arnhem will seek to keep the pressure on FC Twente when it travels to FC Utrecht, which occupies fifth place inn the table.

PSV Eindhoven could claim second place if it disposes of VVV Venlo, which is struggling at the other end of the table after failing to win a game.

PSV coach Dick Advocaat insists confidence is high after last weekend's 3-0 drubbing of Feyenoord.

"We thoroughly deserved to beat them. We chased the ball all over the field and fought for every inch," Advocaat said.

Willem II Tilburg hosts PEC Zwolle in a battle between the Eredivisie's two bottom teams.

AZ faces RKC Waalwijk at home while Roda JC Kerkrade travels to FC Groningen

Third bottom Heerenveen hosts NAC Breda, Feyenoord meets NEC Nijmegen and SC Heracles Almelo collides with ADO Den Haag.

Source PRESS ASSOCIATION