A GreenFields artificial grass pitch was installed at record speed at the ground of Jupiler League club FC Dordrecht. On Saturday 20 July, the first game of football was played on the new pitch - a practice match against Feyenoord. At the grounds of FC Den Bosch, Helmond Sport and FC Oss a high-quality artificial grass pitch made of TenCate fibres will also be installed before the start of the season.
When the season starts on Friday 2 August, eight out of twenty Dutch first division clubs will play their home games on artificial grass. The transition from natural to artificial grass is in line with the ambitions of the CED, the umbrella organisation that represents the collective interests of the clubs in the Jupiler League. The objective of the CED is to increase the attractiveness of Jupiler League matches and improve the playability of the pitches during the winter. The CED's choice for artificial grass supports its profiling of the Jupiler League as a stage for talented footballers with the potential to transfer to the Dutch premier league.
Artificial grass made in the Netherlands
Seven of the eight artificial pitches in the first division consist of fibres produced by TenCate Grass and were manufactured in the Netherlands. With their high-quality grass products and services, GreenFields and TenCate have succeeded in raising the football experience to a higher level. ‘I've seen the artificial grass and I think it's fantastic’, says Hans Eijkenbroek, ex international footballer and currently the fitness trainer at FC Dordrecht. ‘At the end of this week, I'll put my boots on to experience all the advantages.’
‘Record within reach’
Laying the artificial grass pitch in two weeks is a huge achievement that is mainly due to the fruitful cooperation between all the parties involved. Ad Heijsman, the chairman of FC Dordrecht, is delighted that everyone realises how important it is to work fast: ‘Laying a new pitch in two weeks sounds almost too good to be true. I think that we shall get our hands on the world record in laying artificial grass pitches here in Dordrecht this week’.
The new pitch signifies a new phase in FC Dordrecht's history. In 2015, the club expects to be able to start construction work on a new stadium, which will be built next to the club's current Krommedijk ground in Dordrecht. The sacrifice of natural grass training pitches in the construction project will be made up for by laying a high-quality artificial grass pitch in the new stadium. Ad Heijsman adds ‘The first team selection will soon be able to train on its own pitch in the stadium. The players are already really looking forward to it’.