Juventus Academy București Benefits From High-quality Facilities
As the Romanian chapter of Juventus FC grooms ‘the players of the future’, Ciprian Marica wanted his facility to be ready for that future. So he invested in an RSI non-filled artificial turf football system. This system provides the best possible surface for players and society at present and in the future.
The moment Ciprian Marica ended his career as one of the best Romanian football players of his generation, he switched his focus to developing the sports talents of the future. Together with tennis legend Ilie Năstase he established Farul Constanta. The sports centre comprises several tennis courts, an athletics track, two mini football fields and a full-sized pitch. The latter balances the need for player development and sustainability with Marica’s available budget. “I wanted to be sure that we would get the best possible pitch that would not require much attention. At the same time, I wanted to offer the best possible surface to the current generation players, as well as a pitch that would not be detrimental to the generations to come,” Marica explains. Juventus Academy București immediately bought into this vision, says Mihaela Pellegrini, CEO of the football academy. “In our quest for proper facilities we came across many poor-quality artificial turf fields. We also noticed that most of the fields use rubber crumb from shredded car tires. We found it concerning, both in terms of possible risks to our players as well as to the environment. Once Ciprian showed us that his artificial turf field does not use infill at all and that it had been installed by a company that is a signatory of the EMEA Synthetic Turf Council, we concluded that we had found a facility that complied with our ambition and vision. Our staff and players love using this field!”
George Stroe of Recreational Systems International calls the installation at Farul Constanta ‘the artificial turf field of the future’. “With the presence of polymeric infill in artificial turf fields currently hotly debated, owners of non-filled systems don’t have to worry about the issue of tiny plastic and rubber particles polluting the environment. It is likely that the European Union, later this year, will solve the issue for municipalities and clubs by implementing legislation to phase out this type of system,” he says. He points out that RSI has already decided to abandon this type of artificial turf system. “We encourage our clients to invest in a non-filled field or a field that uses cork as infill, as this is a natural product.“ As RSI is a member of the EMEA Synthetic Turf Council (ESTC), clients are assured of the quality of their investment. “Members of the ESTC have to prove that they have the relevant experience before they are accepted by this industry body. Furthermore, they abide by a Code of Ethics and Conduct, thereby confirming that their products and activities serve the best interests of the owner as well as the end user of their products.
As Bucharest experiences an over-average rainfall throughout the year, the field at Farul Constanta is installed on approximately 30cm of crushed stone for improved drainage. “We always strive to install the best possible surface. Therefore, we ensure that the field can drain in excess of 180mm/h of rain in accordance with the highest requirements FIFA sets for artificial turf fields.” The drainage layer is followed by a shockpad. “Shockpads are much better in delivering the required shock absorption and impact attenuation which define the safety and comfort of the field. Shockpads also guarantee the quality and performance over a longer period compared with any other solution. The shockpad we use has proven being capable of delivering the required shock absorption and impact attenuation for a period that exceeds the life expectancy of two carpets. It is an investment which is worthwhile and assures the safety and comfort of the players,” Stroe continues. The field is complemented by the RSI non-filled carpet. “This densely tufted carpet is made of a variety of different shaped artificial turf fibres which are supported by a thatch layer. The combination of the thatch and the different shaped yarns provides players with the preferred stability while also recognising the requirements FIFA has set for ball bounce and ball roll distance.” A small layer of silica in between the grass blades helps maintain a comfortable ambient temperature over the summer period.
Owners of non-filled fields don’t need to worry about the need for maintenance or investment in maintenance equipment. “Once every so often, the field needs to be brushed with a triangular brush. This doesn’t require a highly trained or experienced groundsman. It is something that can even be done by volunteers. The same applies to removing snow during winter. Fields that use infill are difficult to clear as the infill and infill height are vital in ensuring the quality and safety of the field. That is the reason why most artificial turfs cannot be used during that time of the year. The owners and users of Farul Constanta don’t have these worries. They can remove the snow as they please, as the shockpad delivers all the safety features, while the yarn is of such quality that they will remain their composure without the need for infill to support them.”
Investment in the Future
The investment in an RSI non-filled system gives Ciprian Marica peace of mind. “Farul Constanta is situated in a high-value development near the city centre of Bucharest. Our recognition of quality and durability complements the investments that private households and investors make in the area. The municipality and nearby residents know that our facility is an asset to the community and will never become a burden.” Mihaela Pellegrini from Juventus Academy București shares these sentiments. “Parents feel comfortable sending their children to our academy as they know that we look after them by only accepting the best possible infrastructure,” says Pellegrini. “This helps us attract talented players while the quality of the surface helps us and them to further develop their talent and hone their skills.” The club can also extend the season or increase its activities. “The good drainage of the field means that we can continue using it during rainy periods, as we don’t have to worry about water standing on the field. Snowfall on the field also doesn’t pose a problem as this can be cleared. In other words, this field allows us to attract the most talented players and to spend as much time as possible improving their skills. This is something football will truly benefit from,” Pellegrini concludes.
This helps us attract talented players while the quality of the surface helps us and them to further develop their talent and hone their skills.
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