Who did Stam support as a child?

Wednesday 09 March 2022 13:00

Jaap Stam has revealed he supported Ajax as a youngster, despite emerging as a key figure for the Amsterdam side's fierce rivals PSV Eindhoven.

The former Manchester United defender has shared his story with the UTD Podcast, with the first part of the special episode released this week.

Although a move to his boyhood favourites only happened at the end of his outstanding career, the Dutchman did speak of early interest from Celtic when he was a youth player and also a trial at Sheffield Wednesday, long before the dream switch to Old Trafford came about.

UTD Podcast: How I joined United Video

UTD Podcast: How I joined United

Treble-winner Stam reveals all about his move to Old Trafford and which other clubs were interested in signing him…

Stam emerged as a top defensive talent in the Netherlands but would have to wait until 2006 to link up with Ajax.

When asked if PSV were the team he followed, he replied: "No, I always supported Ajax. You don’t have a choice as a player, because, as a kid, you’re always supporting a team that you feel close to because of where they are or how they’re playing.

"As a kid, you might have your dreams about ‘okay, it would be nice to play for them’ but sometimes the opportunity is never there. After Willem II, PSV were showing interest because they had injuries and they needed a defender. Ajax didn’t have interest.

"Feyenoord had interest," he declared. "Celtic, too, had interest at that time. You need to make that choice. I could have said ‘I’m going to wait for Ajax’ but that opportunity might never come.

"It was a big club, PSV, so, for me, it was easy to go over there and play for them and hopefully make the national team and do well for a couple of seasons. And then, make a step to a league somewhere else in Europe.”

Stam could have ended up in England as a teenager after Premier League interest in his services but, instead, he joined United after establishing himself as a defensive rock on the continent.

Could Stam have joined us sooner?


The man himself reveals all during part one of his UTD Podcast - listen to it now!

"I went to Sheffield Wednesday," the centre-back recalled. "Trevor Francis was manager at that time, and they asked me to have a trial over there, so I stayed with them for a week or 10 days and they asked me, after that, to come back.

"I liked it, it was nice, the club and everything, the experience was great. I think I was 19. I said first, I want to settle myself and do well in Holland to see if I can reach the highest level in Holland before I want to make that step to a big club that Sheffield Wednesday was at that time.

"I wanted to do well and establish myself in Holland and then maybe there’s a next step, to go to Sheffield. It was an insight for myself to see how is it, how is the level. For me already, at that time, it was nice to see the UK. First time flying, first time in a plane, so new experiences."

Check out the first part of Jaap Stam's UTD Podcast.