Serero secures 'dream' Ajax deal

By Ed AaronsBBC Sport
Thulani Serero (L) is challenged by Cole Alexander of Vasco da Gama
Serero moves from Ajax Cape Town to Ajax Amsterdam

New Ajax Amsterdam signing Thulani Serero has admitted he will fulfil a lifelong ambition when he moves to Holland next season.

The 21-year-old Bafana Bafana forward penned a four-year deal to join the Dutch giants.

The move came just 24 hours after seeing his club Ajax Cape Town lose out to Orlando Pirates for the South African league title on a thrilling final day of the season.

Serero has since joined up with Pitso Mosimane's squad as they prepare to face Egypt in next weekend's crucial Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in Cairo.

But the youngster was taken for a scan shortly after reporting for national team duty and was declared unfit to be in camp.

Serero says his transfer has helped soften the blow of losing out on the Premier Soccer League (PSL) title.

"I'm very excited. I have always wanted to play overseas so it is a dream come true to finally have it confirmed," he told BBC Sport.

"I'm still a bit disappointed about Saturday but I know it will pass.

"I'm just pleased to have the move to Europe and the match against Egypt to concentrate on now, because it will help take my mind off what happened."

With 10 league goals, Soweto-born Serero is odds-on favourite to be voted the PSL's player of the season next week.

He has won rave reviews for his displays throughout the season and the new Dutch champions are thought to have paid around £2m to secure his signature.

"We have signed the best player in the South African league," said Ajax chief executive Rik Van den Boog.

"In any team performing well, there are always players who stand out, and Thulani has been the one for Ajax Cape Town."

Despite leading the table by two points going into the last game, a 2-2 draw with Maritzburg United and Pirates' 2-1 victory over Golden Arrows ended Ajax Cape Town's chances of a first-ever championship.

Nonetheless, Serero believes he has learned a great deal from his time at the club.

"I think I have actually learned more from losing out on the final day than if we had won it," he said.

"I will always remember how upset everyone was after the match and it is not something I want to go through again.

"Hopefully I can go one better with Ajax Amsterdam next season, although I know it's going to be very hard to get a place in the team, because they have been playing very well for the last few months."

Serero follows Bafana Bafana stars Benni McCarthy and Steven Pienaar, who also moved from Cape Town to Ajax's senior team.