Sport on holiday? While for some this amounts at most to a game of beach tennis or a couple of lengths of the hotel pool, for a growing number of people sport is the focal point of their annual holidays. From skiing to hiking, cycle touring to canoe trips – there are many...
FC Kray plays on Polytan artificial turf
Until (???) FC Kray played on a hard court which was run down to such a degree that you could hardly imagine worse conditions.
The entire process, the handling of everything was perfect. It’s only now that you can really see the contrast with how it used to be. We have a proper exhibition pitch.”
It’s no surprise either that on 21September, 1,350 proud spectators came to the grounds on Buderusstrasse to see the artificial turf play host to its first match, versus VfL Rhede. Manager and legend, Rudi Assauer, and the Essen Mayor, Rudolf Jelinek, led the celebrations; a 2:1 victory added the icing to the cake.
Since then, FCK has remained unbeaten on the new surface, and Oberholz declares that this series of wins is in no small part due to the new surface. “In terms of our offensive play, the artificial turf is a definite advantage as we focus on good ball control. There are no bad bounces on this surface anymore.” The entire club has benefited and experienced positive development as a result. “Everyone is really enjoying themselves, they’re coming to training full of enthusiasm and we’ve had a massive intake of new players. In the five months since the opening, we had 45 applications in the youth categories. And this is in a period in which very few changes take place. So this will really pay dividends in the summer.”
There is only one man who isn’t surprised by the praise being heaped on the surface, because he knows that, “Kray has the same surface that was laid in the French first division for AS Nancy and FC Lorient and for Norköpping in Sweden,” explains Frank Schmidt, Marketing manager at Polytan Nord. He’s talking about LigaTurf RS+, the best artificial surface currently available on the market. “Not even Rot-Weiss Essen has a surface of such high quality at its training grounds. At most there will be some Bundesliga clubs such as Bayer Leverkusen and Bayern München who will have it.” In fact, the current Polytan premium product ranks as the artificial surface whose blades – artificial surface experts like to talk about “monofilaments” – have the best recovery properties of all.
The fact that Polytan can do so much more is evident only a few metres further on. Behind the goal is a small playing field which is perfectly suited and tailored for heavy usage. Schmidt says, “Here we have a Liga Grass 238 10/8 with crimped fibres. These can sustain a considerably higher load (players per m²) with fewer maintenance costs. It’s the exact model that we’ve employed in over 1,000 mini pitches which were sponsored by the DFB because of their high load capacity.”