Very recently, Belgium prestigious football club Standard de Liège sought to replace two of its football fields at its renowned youth academy, the Robert Louis-Dreyfus Academy. In this regard, the club decided to swop two natural grass pitches for two synthetic turf pitches. Indeed, this type of surface was needed to make the academy improve the general facilities offering to its talented youngsters.
Standard de Liège saw two main benefits to installing two synthetic turf pitches. Such advantages are the easy and low-cost maintenance required for this surface as well as the high rate of playability guaranteed. The project was also facilitated by the club’s enthusiasm towards synthetic turf, notably characterized by the fact that club chairman Roland Duchâtelet has been a proponent of synthetic grass for quite a while.
In total, the club transformed 23 000 square metres of natural grass into last generation synthetic turf last year. In fact, this particular surface was chosen by the club among big competition between different bidders in the turf manufacturing market. Technically, the surface is composed of 100% polyethylene monofilament yarn filled with sand and rubber. This composition offers great characteristics to the fields and therefore satisfaction to the owners, as highlighted by one of the manufacturer’s managers Willem Van Lancker who was involved in the deal: “Our customer was delighted. The new pitches have great softness and excellent shock absorption, guaranteeing that players can slide and tackle worry-free. Its unique twist lock technology, boasting two forms of fibres twisted together in the yarn, guarantees both great durability and greenness”.
After Manchester United, Standard de Liège is the second big club in Europe to train on this particular turf system. This surface now offers a great tool to support the club’s young player development policy destined to ensure its sustainability. It contributes to provide its youngsters with optimal training conditions to maximise their development potential.