ZV Zulte Waregem and the decision to opt for synthetic turf
SV Zulte Waregem is a football club playing in the Belgian Jupiler League and was founded in 1935 in the town of Waregem. They play their home games at the Stade Arc-en-ciel, which translates into Rainbow Stadium, and can host a bit less than 10,000 spectators. In order to grow the club, an ambitious renovation plan is gradually being implemented as SV Zulte Waregem wants the best for its fans, visitors and certainly its players. Therefore, a new synthetic turf pitch should give the players the chance to train in optimal conditions. Regardless of the weather.
Vincent Mannaert, former General Manager of SV Zulte Waregem, was fully involved in this decision to provide the club with a synthetic grass training field. He explained this decision: “Already for a while we were planning to build a synthetic turf pitch. Natural grass remains the ideal training surface but I have to admit it takes much effort to keep it in good condition. In rainy weather, the terrain is quickly damaged. With some bad luck, the grass recovers difficult and you end up in a vicious circle. And let’s face it, moving to another field is not always a practical solution.”
Mannaert continued: “The initial question came from the players and technical staff. As professionals, they only want the best training conditions. As management, we want the players to perform well but you have to give them the opportunity to work in good conditions. We first did a test on a synthetic pitch and the pleasant playing feel wiped all prejudices – if there were any – off the map. It really was a positive experience.”