Kilmarnock have announced that they will rip up their synthetic surface and replace it with better quality.
The Ayrshire side announced via their official website that new turf will be installed for next season. Unfortunately, the pitch remains synthetic, but according to Killie, it’s the “most advanced on the market”. It’s also the same turf used by Barcelona and Ajax at their training facilities.
Killie stated that the advantages include “optimum ball roll”, “reduced pellet spray”, and “increased surface stability”. It’s another boost for the Rugby Park club after achieving qualification into Europe next season.
It’s also a boost for Celtic too. Former Hoops manager Brendan Rodgers was always critical of the Rugby Park turf (Scottish Sun). Celtic captain Scott Brown has never been a big fan either (Scottish Sun)
In an ideal world, Kilmarnock would just rip it up altogether and install grass. But that’s never been on the cards and still isn’t.
Clubs in Scotland at least have to give Kilmarnock a chance here, however. A synthetic surface is a synthetic surface, but it could have some advantages that will suit Celtic’s game.
A dangerous and nasty surface
One of the notable aspects of the current Killie turf is how sticky it is. Long balls and switches of play, in particular, produce a terrible bounce. It’s just one aspect of the soon-to-be previous pitch that frustrates professional footballers.
Fair play to Kilmarnock for trying something different next season, however. It would be interesting to find out just how much the criticism of their pitch this season came into this decision. Killie will be taking their surface into Europe next year, however, so that may also be a factor.
In any case, it’s a step in the right direction. It’s not grass, but it sounds like Killie are introducing the next best thing. For clubs such as Celtic who are so used to high-quality surfaces, this should be a boost.
Celtic have struggled to get results against Kilmarnock away from home in recent years. In our last three visits there, Celtic have lost two and only won the third thanks to a last-minute Brown goal.
The turf has had a big part to play in that stat, but finally, it looks as though Killie are doing something about it.