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.
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.
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.