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Jamie Lawrence on Ajax heart scare and winning the double in

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MessagePosté le: Jeu 22 Mar - 11:42 (2018)    Sujet du message: Jamie Lawrence on Ajax heart scare and winning the double in Répondre en citant

sbo333 Jamie Lawrence was at Arsenal as a kid before turning a summer trip to Holland into a contract with Ajax. Since then there has been a major operation on his heart and two doubles in Slovakia with AS Trencin. Adam Bate caught up with him to find out more about his amazing story.

It all started when Jamie Lawrence's mother was offered a job in Amsterdam. Lawrence had just done his GCSEs and the family went over in the summer of 2008 to test the water. Would she fit in? Could they make a go of it abroad? Football was not a priority at that time even if Lawrence had pedigree having been in the same Arsenal youth team as Harry Kane.

His father Steve emailed clubs more in hope than expectation. Lawrence had no grand plan either. "I just wanted to keep fit and keep playing football," he tells Sky Sports. "One of the emails was to HFC Haarlem. They have since gone bankrupt but at the time they were playing in the second division in Holland. I think they were the only ones to even reply."

It was the beginning of a journey that took Lawrence to the famed Ajax academy, the boyhood Arsenal fan being coached by Dennis Bergkamp of all people. It is an adventure that has had the lows of a major heart scare that threatened to end his career before it had begun and the highs of winning the double in Slovakia with his current club AS Trencin. Twice. sbo333

Now 25, Lawrence almost surprises himself at the memory of how happenstance set him on this path. "I wasn't really that keen to meet up with Haarlem," he admits. "I suppose I was a bit shy. I think I said no to the first couple of training sessions. Looking back, it was just typical English fear. Eventually, I went and saw that these guys were pretty good."

Lawrence stumbled upon a second division youth team that included future Netherlands international Quincy Promes and current Serie A star Timo Leschert. "Three others went on to play in the top flight too," he recalls. "I went to Haarlem with no expectations. I was just going to play for the youth team of this small club but looking back it was a really good side.

"We were underrated. We went to Ajax and beat them 3-0 at their own training complex. For me, it wasn't a massive thing. I just figured that we had played a game and we had won. But to all of my team-mates, it was this huge thing that we had gone to Ajax and beaten them. It was from that game that a scout at Ajax took me there the summer afterwards."

Lawrence insists he was not daunted by the experience of going to Ajax. His time at Arsenal had prepared him for the size of the club. But he soon realised this would be different. "The thinking in Holland is so different to the thinking in England," he explains. "There was a huge emphasis on the technical and tactical side. I had to learn all of it pretty much from scratch.

"I notice it now here in Slovakia because, tactically, the Dutch guys in the squad are so far ahead of the Slovakians, the Nigerians and the Brazilians that I have played with. Just in terms of organising a team and knowing their role in the side, where they should be and why. It is the coaching, I suppose, because the Dutch players think like coaches themselves.

"They don't just think about which pass to play as an individual but they think about how the team is going to break down the opposition and how they are going to press the opponent effectively. Will it be full press one-on-one or a zonal press? They are constantly thinking about these things during the game. That comes from the Dutch upbringing." sbo333

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