Introducing a new concept: Field in a box™

The TenCate Field in a box™ system from TenCate Grass links sport with social, educational and economic aims. Sport brings people together and helps to promote participation and integration. The system offers teaching and educational facilities and can help to boost employment and to strengthen the local community. Development cooperation focuses on helping these countries to develop further and to achieve a higher standard of living for their inhabitants. Until several decades ago Western organisations involved in this work were still following a top-down approach. Now there is far more of a bottom-up approach: grassroots development.The aid or cooperation aims at both facilitating economic progress and improving education, health care, infrastructure and the emancipation of minorities and vulnerable groups. The input and involvement of the local population are at the heart of this cooperation.

Non-governmental organisations
TenCate Field in a box™ is a ready-made solution in a single container of 84 cubic metres. Inside the container are all the components for a sports pitch measuring 40 x 20 metres. The container itself can easily be converted into a sports canteen, a room for people to meet, a classroom or an office. Optional extras include GreenSource® for water filtration, outdoor fabrics for fencing and roofing, customised printing and LED lighting. In order to expand the functions of the sports pitch, TenCate is entering into partnerships with non-governmental organisations, such as WorldCoaches. A non-governmental organisation (NGO) is not dependent on government, and focuses on such goals and interests as the promotion of human rights, health, environmental protection and development work. An NGO often has an advisory, facilitating and supporting role in development projects. Through its WorldCoaches the KNVB has since 2009 been using football to help advance the local community in developing countries.

More affordable
The coordinator of WorldCoaches, Johan van Geijn, is enthusiastic about the TenCate Field in a box™ concept. ‘There is an enormous demand in developing countries for a better foundation to enable children to play football and to train them in the neighbourhoods. It is often the price of the base that means that the initiative comes to naught, due to the high costs. Thanks to further development of the groundwork at TenCate Field in a box™, the installation is now much more affordable. The container immediately provides the local community with additional space for training and mentoring. This makes a great contribution towards a more vibrant neighbourhood. The improved base with synthetic turf has also made it possible to start developing a business model for using and running the facility.’

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GreenFields becomes Official Supplier to PSV Eindhoven

GreenFields, the innovative market leader in synthetic turf systems, has undertaken to be the Official Supplier to PSV Eindhoven until 2018. GreenFields – part of materials technology company TenCate – will, under the terms of the agreement with PSV Eindhoven, install various new synthetic turf systems at De Herdgang sports complex in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. GreenFields and TenCate will use the PSV sports complex as the FieldLab for sports-related technical research and as a showcase for international customers.

De Herdgang in Eindhoven boasts numerous pitches produced by TenCate and installed by GreenFields, including the main pitch on the youth side, the synthetic turf pitch near the professionals and the innovative FieldLab. All the pitches are equipped with the latest technology related to synthetic turf systems. The mini-pitch, which has already been installed and on which youth teams can enjoy very specific training through the use of innovative techniques, has also been provided with a woven GreenFields® MX synthetic turf system.

More intensive training

Marcel Brands, technical manager of PSV Eindhoven, states that he is delighted with the installation of the new synthetic turf pitches at De Herdgang. “The GreenFields pitches enable all the youth teams to train more intensively and to make even better use of the pitches. And what is even more interesting is the fact that we together with GreenFields are going to look at the development of hybrid pitches.” A XtraGrass™ hybrid system is a combination of a natural grass pitch reinforced with a woven synthetic turf backing. This system is fully recyclable and in part biodegradable.

Innovation driven

Toon Gerbrands, general manager of PSV Eindhoven and Ton Raaphorst, director of TenCate Grass and GreenFields signed the contract earlier this month. Raaphorst is very enthusiastic: “PSV made the sealing of our collaboration an unexpectedly great moment. It was well deserved, as both parties are driven by innovation: on the one hand, sporting innovation and on the other, technological innovation. And don’t forget, GreenFields is the holder of credentials from countless professional sports organisations worldwide, including American Lacrosse, FIFA, World Rugby and the FIH – the International Hockey Federation. GreenFields has more than 3,000 sports pitch installations across the world.”

R&D at TenCate Grass is dedicated to performance and durability

‘The sportsperson is key’

Turf Systems Development R&D is responsible for the global development of artificial grass systems for GreenFields and TigerTurf within TenCate Grass. GreenFields has six international offices for marketing and installing artificial grass systems, primarily for sport purposes. TigerTurf has three organisations for the marketing and production of artificial grass systems for sport and landscaping.

Bart Wijers is the head of Turf Systems Development R&D. His department has spent years building up a wealth of knowledge and experience regarding (the development and production of) components for artificial grass systems and is constantly working on further improvements. Components such as artificial grass fibres, turf design, shockpad, infill and their various combinations determine performance, characteristics, consistency and durability. In addition, the base, installation and maintenance of the field all play important roles when it comes to the performance of the field in both the short and long term. TenCate Grass has everything it takes to test and track the performance of new and innovative components in artificial grass systems.

Performance and experience
Player experience is the starting point for our research and development work, says Bart Wijers. ‘Technical performance and player experience add value to any sport. We are unique in this respect. Of course, we also keep a close eye on playability, comfort and consistency. In the international artificial grass industry we often work with advisers and architects in the drafting of tenders. The aim is to pursue a minimum level of quality, but the end effect is that every supplier provides the same product, at the lowest possible price. There is very little room left to integrate your own vision or values into the final product. We want to show our clients that we have the knowledge and capacity to achieve the desired results. Specifications can be included in the set of requirements accordingly, allowing us to provide much more in terms of added value.’

TenCate Grass also researches the reusability of materials such as shock pads, and attempts to reuse as much material as possible at the end of its life-cycle. ‘There are three key elements here: sport performance, the consistency of this performance and reusability.’

Movement and forces
There is no way around biomechanics for artificial grass manufacturers whose first concern is with the athlete. The movement of footballers and hockey players are created in and by the muscles, joints, joint capsules, ligaments, tendons and nerves. Biomechanics studies the effects of the forces exerted on the human body. These movements are mapped out together with feedback from the players. ‘By using a three dimensional movement tracking camera system, we can track athletes and calculate the forces behind their movements,’ continues Bart Wijers. In order to achieve this, TenCate Grass works together with human movement technologists from the Maastricht and Amsterdam universities. ‘It is up to us to find the materials and artificial grass construction that maximises support for the athlete. “TenCate – materials that make a difference” is absolutely spot on.

Components and variables
The results of all the research conducted up to this point has been applied to the development of artificial grass hockey fields. This also involves the KNHB (The Royal Dutch Field Hockey Association). ‘Hockey uses a relatively simple system for artificial grass. For example, there is no infill. It consists of two components, limiting the number of variables involved. Artificial grass for football consists of four components, resulting in a much higher number of combinations.’
The GreenFields® TX artificial grass system for the 2014 Hockey World Championships received high praise from coaches and players alike. This ruled out the necessity for further development, but ‘we nevertheless began examining the sub layer. An E-layer is generally used, which provides shock-absorption. We have conducted research into an alternative shock-absorbing layer construction with different cushioning characteristics. Instead of only focusing on suspension, we have now developed an optimised suspension-cushioning system. As a result, player experience is enhanced due to a more stable system and significantly reduced ball bounce.’

First Cruyff court in Liverpool installed with TenCate Ecocept™

GreenFields and the Cruijff Foundation are proud to announce the official opening of the new court in Anfield-Liverpool. The new court is part of a £260 million regeneration of Anfield, courtesy of funding partners Liverpool City Council, Liverpool Football Club and Your Housing Group, working together to improve housing and sporting facilities in the area. There are currently only two existing Courts in the UK, both of which reside in London: Cruyff Court Dennis Bergkamp and Cruyff Court Tottenham Hotspur – the Anfield Sports and Community Centre Cruyff Court will be the first outside of the UK’s capital, and the first which GreenFields have installed.

This particular Cruyff court is very special as it is the first court where the new TenCate Ecocept™ performance sports base is used. TenCate Ecocept™ is a new innovative sports base specifically developed for synthetic turf athletic playing surfaces. Is integrates seamlessly with the synthetic turf product. This product is a new sports base which utilises a 50/50 mix of recycled rubber and plastic, and saves roughly 140 tonnes of materials from landfill for every full size pitch. This system gives an improved shock absorbency for players, due to the stability of the base, and provides several functions in a single layer.

In the meanwhile the Cruyff Foundation, founded in 2003, has installed more than worldwide – including Argentina, South Africa, and Brazil. The foundation supports various projects that encourage young people to exercise in a safe environment.

Football clubs and korfball club in Almelo opt for GreenFields® slide max XQ™

GreenFields has installed four soccer and one korfball pitch in Almelo during the summer months under instruction from the region’s municipal sports trust. Mid-week evening training sessions on the new surfaces are in full swing, with league games being played at weekends, which has led to very ethousiastic reactions of the players of all clubs.

Selected on intensity of use and durability

The clubs in question were all consulted on the choice of pitch. Nieuwmeier comments: “Representatives from clubs based in the region were involved in the selection process, looking at the different pitch options available. This pitch system came out on top in terms of the intensity of use and durability, in particular. For us, we’re talking around 1,500 hours of use each year. The system will last us twelve years and will retain its properties.”

Football clubs Oranje Nassau and Almelo are based on a complex which sits in the shadows of the Heracles Almelo stadium. Plans to grant the two amateur clubs a couple of new artificial turf pitches have been in place since the re-development of the first division club’s stadium, one year ago.

Joint approach for greater efficiency

The project was a substantial one, albeit that more and more municipalities are choosing to lay a number of artificial pitches simultaneously with a view to maximising efficiency and saving costs. The various stages of work involved – from digging and laying the underlays to installing the turf – took place sequentially, moving from one sports complex on to the next.

Hatko installs second FIFA two star artificial grass pitch with TenCate Grass fibres

Early may 2015, Hatko installed a second FIFA** pitch in Cyprus using TenCate Grass artificial grass fibres as its base. The pitch is located in Gazimağusa, a town on the country’s east coast, and measures 106 by 76 meters. It is named after the Turkish-Cypriot politician, Rauf Denktaş, who passed away in 2012.

Hatko Dokuma Tekstil insaat Taahhut Ve Ticaret Ltd Sti. is TenCate Grass’ partner in Turkey. The customer opted for the Omega Turf – Hatko’s top of the range pitch. TenCate Grass Middle East Ltd. engineered and produced the synthetic turf fibres within the space of a single week. The entire installation process took just three weeks to complete.

According to Hatko, the Omega Turf is renowned for its unique, curved shape and three ‘spines’, which create a bouncy grass fibre offering excellent flexibility and durability. Testing and analysis performed by Hatko engineers showed that the system’s durability remained uncompromised after as many as 40,000 Lisport Test cycles.

Hatko Sports has been using TenCate synthetic grass yarns for a number of years. The company has successfully completed many sports and landscaping projects throughout Turkey and the Middle East using TenCate technology.


Vitesse ready for its first Eredivisie match on hybrid pitch in GelreDome

On Sunday 20 September Dutch soccer club Vitesse will play its match against De Graafschap on a new, hybrid pitch, on which the natural grass has been reinforced with synthetic fibres in a woven backing. Both players and coaches are enthusiastic about XtraGrass™, on which they are already training at their training facility, Papendal, in Arnhem, the Netherlands.

The patented XtraGrass™ was developed by material technology company TenCate and supplied by its subsidiary GreenFields. In this system the natural grass grows in a – partly biodegradable – backing, consisting of woven clumps of synthetic fibres. This enables the natural grass to become stronger, better and to be played on for longer: 800 to 900 hours a year, as opposed to 200 to 250 hours for a traditional natural grass pitch. A number of Dutch amateur clubs are already playing on this hybrid surface. XtraGrass™ has already been installed in the Ricoh Stadium and the Kassam Stadium in England and can also be found in countries such as Germany, Japan, the United States, Australia and New Zealand and in Scandinavia. Apart from football, this hybrid pitch is also used for other sports that are played on natural grass, such as rugby.

Vitesse’s fast game

Head coach Peter Bosz of Vitesse comments: “We have our own way of playing and a good pitch is important for this. In the past year the pitch in GelreDome left something to be desired. We hope that the investment in this pitch will produce great sporting results.” The captain of Vitesse, Guram Kashia, says about the new pitch: “The new pitch is fantastic and it suits our style of football perfectly. It’s a very fast and even pitch, which is exactly what our game is all about, holding on to the ball and playing as fast as possible. I like playing on a really fast pitch. The ball then moves around faster, the game itself becomes faster and everyone knows that I really enjoy tackling. The new pitch is ideal for this.”

The best of two worlds

Ton Raaphorst, director of TenCate Grass and GreenFields, says: “With XtraGrass™ GreenFields and TenCate deliver a strong, durable, even and stable natural grass pitch that combines the best of two worlds. According to reliable sources, it is not only more Dutch professional clubs but also clubs in the Premier League, the Bundesliga and other international leagues that want to switch over to XtraGrass™.” In Germany, 1. FC Köln already has XtraGrass™ on its training pitch.

Eredivisie club Vitesse has been training for several weeks on the hybrid grass surface, after its training pitch at the training facility at Papendal near Arnhem was sown with grass seed at the beginning of June. Meanwhile the integrated grass sods for the pitch in GelreDome were growing at a nursery in Limburg in the south of the Netherlands; they arrived in Arnhem by truck in large rolls some ten days ago, and here they were installed at the stadium using special equipment.

XtraGrass™ satisfies stringent requirements. The synthetic fibres are not visible in the natural grass, as they are below ground level, so will not be seen unless the natural grass on parts of the pitch wears away. In winter periods too the pitch thus remains eminently playable, appears green, even and stable and has excellent drainage.


SV Spakenburg and VV IJsselmeervogels kick-off the new season with GreenFields® MX

Pre-season preparations are well under way. By mid-July, the clubs’ pitches need to be ready to host SV Spakenburg and VV IJsselmeervogels’ first Topklasse Zaterdag home fixtures. This season, both teams get to enjoy the benefits of a new GreenFields® MX pitch. GreenFields® MX is a woven synthetic turf system that is constructed with the synthetic turf components of TenCate Grass. The two renowned football clubs, stemming from a fishing village situated on what was the Ijsselmeer lake, have been competing for decades now at the very top of Dutch amateur football: both sides have won their division’s title numerous times, with VV IJsselmeervogels winning the crown of overall (Topklasse Zaterdag & Zondag) champions seven times. SV Spakenburg has also won the title, twice over.

Legendary rivalry

The rivalry between ‘the blues’ (VV IJsselmeervogels) and ‘the reds’ (SV Spakenburg) is deep-rooted and has historically caused some friction. These days, the rough edges have been smoothed out, but the rivalry remains just as healthy. Derby games between the two are still the highlight of the season and attract around 8,000 spectators. Although both sides have the title race in focus, rising from the derby battle victorious is just as important.
At half time, supporters from each side have a beer or a coffee in their own club houses, which are located directly adjacent to one another as part of the same sports complex – as they have been since 1970.

Promotion ambitions

A local authority tender for new SV Spakenburg and VV IJsselmeervogels pitches resulted in GreenFields being chosen as the preferred supplier. The superb GreenFields® MX artificial grass system with 3-D fibre weave is setting the standard in the Jupiler league, where it has been installed at a number of clubs already.
Both SV Spakenburg and VV IJsselmeervogels are said to have their sights set on a promotion to the new Dutch Second Division, which, as of 2016, will become a part of the Jupiler League. The Dutch Football Association (KNVB) is hoping that the revised structure will help improve the quality of the game, facilitate the progression from amateur to professional level and make for more thrilling competitions.
The new GreenFields® MX pitches, commissioned by the Spakenburg Council, will provide both clubs with excellent facilities on which to build their technical skill and deliver the level of performance they are striving for.

GreenFields / TenCate

Hybrid XtraGrass pitch at Oxford United’s Kassam Stadium

GreenFields started with the installation of an XtraGrass pitch in the Kassam Stadium, home of Oxford United Football Club and London Welsh Rugby Club. This will be the second club in the UK that will play on the hybrid system, after the Ricoh Arena where work has started late May.

Mark Ashton, United’s chief executive: “We all saw last season the pitch at the Kassam Stadium wasn’t of the standard we would want. We want to give (boss) Michael (Appleton) and the team the best opportunity moving forward. It’s a long-term investment for us, but we think it is fundamental to what we are trying to build at the football club”. XtraGrass is a hybrid system where natural grass is reinforced with the artificial grass fibers of TenCate Grass. As a result the playability of the pitch is going up and the pitch is more resistant to wear in specific areas. Another beneficial characteristic is that the condition of the pitch throughout the year and the quality will be more consistent. This new system combines the best of both worlds.

The stadium has a typical English signature: atmospheric, intimate and the audience close to the pitch with a capacity of 12,500 spectators. It is named after Firoz Kassam, a businessman and former chairman, who bought the club in 1999 when it was in dire straits. The construction of the stadium had just started in 1999 but was, due to the financial problems, even shut down some time. In 2001, the stadium was finished. Oxford United was saved thanks to Kassam and entered a new future. Oxford United plays in the third division, the fourth level in England. Herein they play 24 clubs, including Wimbledon and Portsmouth. Oxford United ended last season as thirteenth. Since 2012 London Welsh Rugby Club plays their home matches at Kassam Stadium. The rugby club London Welsh are playing at the third level, after they were relegated from the Premiership in 2013.


Four synthetic turf pitches to be installed at new training facility AZ Alkmaar with TenCate Grass components

This summer, the Dutch football club AZ Alkmaar will have 4 new pitches installed at their new training facility. These pitches are going to be constructed with the synthetic turf fibres and primary backing of TenCate Grass.
In these new pitches, the latest shock pad, TenCate Sine® will be installed under the top layer. This innovative shock pad, developed by TenCate strengthens the playing characteristics and is easier on joints and muscles. TenCate Sine® also ensures a longer life of the overall system in that it is very durable, gives stability and reduces the wear and tear of the pitch.

Innovative shock pad combined with new features and applications

Work is already well underway, the construction of the facility started on June 9th. “Soon, here we can assist and develop our players even better,” said AZ’s Director General Affairs, Robert Eenhoorn on that occasion. “We can train our talents with the most innovative services and applications.”
The facility is not based in the city of Alkmaar itself, but in the neighboring town of Wormerveer. AZ wants to underline that they want to be a club for the entire region.

First youth, then A-selection

After the summer, the ultra-modern training facility will be the home of the entire youth of AZ Alkmaar. The first team of the football club will train here as well, once the main building, offices and other training facilities are finished.