Ajax Cape Town today announced the appointment of Stanley Menzo as the club’s new Head of Youth. Stanley was born in Paramaribo, Suriname but spent most of his professional playing career as a goalkeeper at Ajax Amsterdam, after joining the professional ranks at a tender age of 19 and appearing in more than 300 official matches for the club in over 10 years, winning a number of major titles in the process. Winning multiple Cup and League honours and forming part of the Dutch national team on the world’s biggest stage, the 1990 FIFA World Cup as well as in the 1992 European Championships, makes Stanley a highly decorated professional and vastly suitable candidate to head up the youth department at Ajax Cape Town. When the late Johan Cruyff was named new manager of Ajax Amsterdam, he believed that Menzo would be the most suitable goalkeeper for his style of football. After spending years as the first choice goalkeeper of Ajax Amsterdam, youth graduate Edwin van der Saar was promoted to the team and the two enjoyed healthy competition for the number one spot. Stanley eventually retired from football in 1999, after which he announced his intentions to take up professional coaching.
Marco van Basten, appointed Stanley as the goalkeeping coach of the national team when he took over as head coach of the national team in 2004. In 2005, Stanley received his UEFA A licence, enabling him to consider taking up coaching posts with European professional clubs, taking over at Lierse S.K. in Belgium a few years later. “Stanley will add huge value to the Ajax Cape Town Academy and will help us bridge the gap between our youth and the professional ranks. His insight and experience in European football will assist us in preparing our talented academy players for the European stage.
He brings with him all the new training methods and techniques from our mother club and will, together with Roger de Sa, implement the new systems in the club. Stanley’s appointment is a another huge step for Ajax Cape Town in ensuring that we remain the best Soccer Academy in Africa” commented the visibly excited Ari Efstathiou, the CEO of Ajax Cape Town. “Stanley arrives this evening and will take up the post and start his South African experience immediately”.
“It’s a pleasure to be here, to add my experience together with the staff here. I feel that together we can add an extra dimension in the development of the young players here, to become good professional players, but also to become mature in their ways. It feels good for me to be able to help Ajax Cape Town, but also to help Ajax Amsterdam as we look to develop some players who will be ready to go onto the big stage in Europe. I look forward to the challenge. As much as I am here to add my experience, I also hope to learn a lot from this beautiful country and of course more about the culture in this beautiful city,” commented Menzo.