Scottish football is also discovering woven artificial grass made in the Netherlands. Scottish Championship side Falkirk FC is now playing on GreenFields® MX, the revolutionary woven artificial grass system made by TenCate in the Netherlands.
By switching to woven artificial grass, the Scottish club has joined a group of five clubs in the Dutch Jupiler League that also laid a new artificial grass pitch this summer. Similarly to Heracles Almelo and PEC Zwolle in the Netherlands, Rapid Wien in Austria, FC Metz in France and Swedish champions IF Elfsborg, all these clubs opted for GreenFields® MX.
Falkirk FC is the first professional football club in the UK that will play all its matches on a pitch with a woven artificial grass system. GreenFields was awarded the contract this spring in an open tender, in which five suppliers participated, because of the excellent quality of its GreenFields® MX system produced with high-grade TenCate materials and innovative technology.
'The roll of the ball is fantastic'
The independent consulting group PSD Agronomy, which supervised the tendering procedure and the subsequent laying of the pitch: 'One of the advantages of a woven system is that de piles always remain upright. This enables the players to get their feet under the ball really easily and makes the grass feel very natural', explains Bill Gillespie on behalf of PSD Agronomy.
The ultimate choice for GreenFields® MX was also partly due to the positive experiences that people have of using it in practice. According to Gary Holt, the trainer of Falkirk FC, 'The pitch that we have now is far better than any other artificial grass pitch that I've seen in the UK. The roll of the ball is fantastic. It's unbeatable and it looks great as well. Because of the new pitch, we are looking forward to the start of the new season more eagerly than ever'.
Breakthrough woven turf with clumps
GreenFields® MX is the result of years of integral and international collaboration at various levels within the scientific community and the sports world. With conventional artificial grass, equal length fibres are tufted in the top layer one by one. TenCate has broken away from the traditional approach. Not only are the fibres used in the GreenFields® MX system of varying composition and size, but they are also woven into the top layer. This results in ‘clumps’ of artificial grass with a structure identical to natural grass, which gives a playing experience that has yet to be equalled.
Farewell with Status Quo
On 25 June, Status Quo played a sold-out concert in the Falkirk Stadium. Work started on laying the artificial grass pitch on the following day. FC Falkirk was founded in 1876 and played in the Brockville Park Stadium until 2003. In 2004, the club moved to the brand-new all-seater Falkirk Stadium, which has a capacity for around 9,200 spectators. Plans are being made to expand the capacity to 12,800 seats. Falkirk FC had Dutchman Tim Krul in goal from 2007 to 2008.
Being able to play matches on the new GreenFields® MX pitch also means that the first team – as well as the future team and academy players – can train at their home ground from now on. In order to avoid damaging the old natural grass pitch unnecessarily, all Falkirk FC's training sessions used to take place at the Stirling University Sports Centre situated nearby.