Jets, trainers & birthday cakes – the life of a footballer’s janitor

Weston McKennie of Juventus, Wales and Schalke midfielder, Rabbi Matondo, Emmanuel Ntow and Ward Struwer.
Emmanuel Ntow (left) and Ward Struwer (second right) worked for Juventus’ Weston McKennie and Schalke’s Rabbi Matondo

Imagine receiving a WhatsApp message from Juventus striker Dusan Vlahovic on a Friday night asking you to find him a flight from Belgrade to Ibiza for the next day for him and some friends.

This is the daily life of three friends who run a concierge service for footballers. They sorted out the private jet for Vlahovic and his homies and whatever they wanted.

Emmanuel Ntow, 26, Mitchell Spel, 24 and Ward Struwer, 23, are founding members of football lifestyle management group AmsLux – one of several companies set up to serve the needs of football stars.

Their motto? Provide anything and everything their customers want or need at all times.

A £125,000 watch? Do. A handbag worth £20,000? No problem. A pair of the highly anticipated new trainers that will sell for around £10,000? Order. For their players, they are available pretty much 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

It all started three years ago in Amsterdam, where they still live. At the time, Ntow worked in a call center while Spel and Struwer were personal trainers.

However, they shared a love for football, fashion, designer clothes and, most importantly, they knew where and how to find rare sneakers or an item of clothing.

They reached out to Turkish winger Bilal Basacikoglu on Instagram. While at Feyenoord in the Netherlands, he was well known for fashion styling and they made a deal with him; they sent him a pair of sneakers in exchange for publicity via a post on his Instagram account.

He accepted and they have never looked back since. More players have contacted them with Renato Tapia, the Peruvian midfielder at Feyenoord at the time and now at Celta Vigo, the next to work with them. The pattern was the same: the sneakers he wanted for a social media post.

Their clients have since included Italy internationals Alessandro Bastoni, Federico Dimarco and Federico Chiesa, Leicester French defender Wesley Fofana and Dutch internationals Myron Boadu, Pablo Rosario and Ryan Gravenberch, to name a few.

There are also some girlfriends or wives of players who also use their services such as Zoe Cristofoli, wife of Theo Hernandeze of AC Milan or Kira Winona, wife of David Neres of Benfica. They now have around 100 players worldwide as customers.

And by simply finding trainers and being personal shoppers and stylists, they realized they could offer so much more.

Orkun Kokcu
Turkish international and Feyenoord player Orkun Kokcu is one of AmsLux’s clients

“We gave players three things: time, knowledge and confidence. They buy time by letting us find whatever they want,” Ntow said. “We provide expert advice on the latest fashion trends, what to wear, what’s cool and they know they can trust us.

“They started asking us for more – vacations, watches, private jets, parties, etc. We never thought it would grow so quickly, but the pandemic helped us because players couldn’t do it anymore. their races physically, but we could always deliver anything for them.”

One of their biggest concerns was the first vacation they had arranged for a client, a trip to the Maldives.

“We knew there was a market for us to provide luxury vacations for players somewhere other than Ibiza or Miami, but that was still unknown to us. well and it happened,” Ntow said. continued.

“We just want our players to focus only on the pitch and so we take care of everything else. For example, we organized our first birthday party for one of the players’ sons. We found the venue, the cake, all the decoration, the theme. It was perfect. And then we had more requests to organize more.

They have now left their old jobs and have a team around them as new players join them. Of course, working with players brings its share of interesting stories.

Recently they were asked at the last minute to find a yacht charter for the day in the Caribbean. They also had a request this summer for a private jet but it wasn’t for a player – it was to fly a group to a party he was throwing.

“A player asked us to send flowers for Valentine’s Day,” Ntow said. “We said no problem and told him to send the address. He replied with four names and addresses of different girls in four different countries. He was very happy with the flowers we have sent, just like the women.”

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