FC Sparta Heestert

Since 2018, the stars of West Flemish football clubs KWS Houthulst and Sparta Heestert have been dribbling on Profoot artificial grass from Lano Sports. “What a relief”, is the overall refrain. With this shift in turf type, both clubs also succeeded in overcoming a host of practical challenges. A funny coincidence: both teams celebrated their renewed pitches with derbies against their neighbors.

High maintenance costs, uneven terrain, conflicts over the so-called ‘A-field’ and weather conditions that have regularly put their pitches to the test: KWS Houthulst and Sparta Heestert know all too well that natural grass isn’t always a walk in the park. That’s why both West Flemish football clubs decided to completely change course: by turning to artificial grass, they opted for quality that lasts.

The beating heart of Houthulst

Erik Verbeure, alderman of Sports for the last 24 years, is more than satisfied with recent developments. “Our previous field – which was almost 100 years old – was ready for its well-deserved retirement,” Erik explains. “When we got the green light to build a 7.4-hectare leisure complex in another location outside the center of the municipality, we saw our chance to move the football club and install an artificial grass pitch. The complex is the new place to be in Houthulst.”

The first training sessions in December 2018 went very well. “The players experienced an immediate ‘wow’ feeling,” Erik continues. “The resilience of the artificial grass feels great underfoot, the flat pitch is easy on the joints and it looks fantastic. That’s why we chose the Profoot MasterMax technology from Lano Sports, which takes the fun of playing to the next level. With this investment, we also demonstrate that a municipality of our size can also access the best quality. The first real test? The derby at home with SK Staden, our local rival.”

The revival of Sparta Heestert

Located a little further south in the province of West Flanders, football club Sparta Heestert also signed up for a Profoot MasterMax field. The results of their first match on the pitch say it all: the team emerged victorious over neighboring club Zwevegem Sport with a final score of 3-1. “We took a big step forward with this project,” says Koen Ameye, chairman of Sparta Heestert. “There used to be regular discussions over who got to use our pitch and when. Now we can make optimal use of every free hour without the field suffering for it. From Friday afternoon to Sunday evening, our 250 members can enjoy our new Lano Sports pitch – and the difference is noticeable. A 5-meter pass now takes no unscheduled detours!” Koen laughs.