Italgreen becomes country’s newest player in artificial grass football pitches.

Italgreen turf with shockpad. Image copyright Bob Guerrero.

Italgreen turf with shockpad. Image copyright Bob Guerrero.

With the explosion of football over the last five years, there are now about a dozen artificial-grass football pitches in and around Metro Manila. That number is sure to rise very soon, and one name is throwing its hat into the ring: Italgreen.

The Italian company based in Bergamo has been in business since 1983 and has made over 10,000 installations, including the pitch at Novara FC, which only a few years ago played in the Serie A, Italy’s top tier. Another current Sere A team, AC Chievo, uses Italgreen for their training facility. Fabled Portuguese side Boavista also plays on an Italgreen surface in their Bessa stadium.

The company has also made fields in Spain, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, France, Czech Republic, Denmark, Holland, Kazakhstan, Japan, and Egypt.

Italgreen also offers cutting-edge technology like fully recyclable fields, and a system of horizontal drainage to whisk water away during rainy days.

Partnering with Italgreen in the Philippines is Manila Rubber Corporation, a six-decade old company that may be a newcomer to the world of football but is very experienced with artificial grass. MRC is Italgreen’s exclusive distributor in the country.

Starting in 2005, Manila Rubber has installed Italgreen’s synthetic landscape grass in hundreds of venues all over the Philippines. Clients like having lawns that don’t need watering or cutting and are perennially green all-year round. Manila Rubber has also found applications for Italgreen turf for golf driving ranges and even temporary carpets for weddings and other events. Now Manila Rubber is making the step up to football.

The advantage of dealing with Italgreen and Manila Rubber is obvious. MRC has been involved with maintaining lawns for years now, so they are very experienced with artificial grass. Italgreen, through MRC, will help in planning the entire facility, from the sub-base to the lighting. Italgreen and MRC have access to computer technology to get the lighting just right for football.

Italgreen is also committed to sending over Italian staff to supervise the installation of the pitches.

But having the Italians is only half of the story. MRC will continue to maintain the field as they do hundreds of other non-football installations.

Manila Rubber is very well-established, since for decades they have been involved into everything that has anything to do with rubber. MRC recycles rubber into everything from floor mats to rubberized tiles to parking lot wheel bumpers to shoe soles to rubber tiles and floors. It’s all done in their factory in Caloocan very near Novaliches. Business is booming, and that should be an assurance of reliable after-sales support.

Italgreen Turf carpet.

Italgreen Turf carpet.

Naturally, making the rubber infill used in football fields is a piece of cake for Manila Rubber. The rubber comes from tires, so it’s real rubber from rubber trees that is naturally free of toxins.

But the carpet of the “grass” itself is not only the fruit of Italian technology but also Italian-made as well. Other brands use Chinese made artificial grass carpets.

If you are interested in creating an Italgreen football field, contact me at bhobg@yahoo.com or reach me on Facebook at facebook.com/bhobg.

To learn more about Italgreen Philippines, visit their website at http://www.italgreen.it or MRC’s Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ManilaRubberCorp.

Coming soon: a closer look at the different artificial grass products that Italgreen offers.

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