Where PEC Zwolle, VVV-Venlo and ADO Den Haag will return to natural grass next season, Heracles Almelo will have a new artificial turf laid. It should be ready to play on August 1.
“In our emotional football world, we have been making rational decisions for years and that includes artificial grass. I never say forever, but at the moment it is the best choice for us,” said general manager Rob Toussaint.
Heracles will soon be left alone
First division division player Heracles was the first professional football club to play on synthetic turf in 2003, as one of the five teams in Europe to be designated by UEFA for that special project.
Heracles even received a dispensation from the KNVB to also be allowed to play on artificial grass at the highest level, if the club was promoted. And that happened in 2005.
However, the cost-effective artificial grass has never won the hearts of football fans. In the premier league, besides Heracles, only FC Emmen and Sparta Rotterdam still play on that background. However, those clubs do intend to return to natural grass.
The KNVB encourages clubs to play on natural grass, just like in the major European competitions. Clubs get more money when they play on real grass, partly to compensate for the higher maintenance costs.
Toussaint: “The advantages of artificial grass are that we play and train here every day. Everything takes place in our stadium. The players are used to the place where they play football. We have had very few injuries for years, because we always play on the same surface . “
Grip, speed and comfort
Another factor at Heracles is that sponsor TenCate / GreenFields is a forerunner in the field of synthetic turf pitches. The new mat has been developed in consultation with the players in terms of grip, speed and comfort.