Emaus is enjoying working on the municipal sports park Goed Genoeg in Zuidas, where AFC is the main tenant. ‘The club has a long and prestigious history, so we’re very pleased to be playing a small role in that history.’ The work is taking quite some time. ‘But we’re used to that. It is easier to build a whole new sports park than it is to make improvements to an existing one. But on the other hand, this project is exciting, because there are so many factors to take into account.’
Logistics is a particular challenge for Emaus and his team. ‘The AFC pitches need to be available for football throughout, except for the few weeks when football was not allowed due to coronavirus. So we couldn’t just remove the old pitches and and then lay the new ones. The whole project needs to be done in phases. Additionally, removing the pitches is an unpredictable process because you always find some cables and pipes that you can’t just take out.’ Sallandse United has also removed the existing stand, which will be reused elsewhere. ‘That’s much better than throwing it away.’
Give and take
Sallandse United is not the only contractor working on the site. A new club building is also being constructed at the same time. This is being done by HSB Bouw. Emaus: ‘We have to make sure that they have enough space to do their work, too. The footballers need to be able to play, and we need enough space to remove the old pitches and lay the new ones. Sometimes it’s is a bit of a puzzle, but with good communication and a bit of give and take, we’re getting there.’
The future development of Zuidas was the main reason for AFC’s new sports fields. In total there are 5 pitches: one was already laid some time ago, the new main pitch was finished at the end of 2019, two more new pitches are now almost finished and the final pitch will be laid when the Valley project next door is completed in 2021.