Together with the KNVB and Heineken, the Johan Cruijff ArenA created the assistant Grass Master giveaway in September. Anyone who wanted could apply to win a day of working with Grass Master Roy during the UEFA Nations League match of the Netherlands - Belgium. Together with the grass team, you could've been responsible for the one and only pitch of the Johan Cruijff ArenA. The giveaway closed a few days before the match, and on Thrursday, during the match of Poland - the Netherlands, we called our winner with the news!
(Psst: did you miss the giveaway? Watch the video back here! Should you want to stay up to date on all giveaways and news around the Johan Cruijff ArenA, you can sign up for our newsletter here. This way you'll be sure to never miss fun giveaways ever again!)
Arriving in the ArenA
Sylvia arrived at the main entrance of the Johan Cruijff ArenA around 14:15. She was picked up by two employees, who would be accompany her the entire day. She immediately got compliments about her outfit, because even her socks were orange! She showed her service pass, which she had received from the grass team, and got it scanned by the employees of security, after which she got to walk through the one and only players tunnel to meet Roy, the grass master of the Johan Cruijff ArenA.
After a fun introduction, coffee and putting on the green grass team vest, the preparations on the field could begin. Together with Roy, Sylvia was allowed to place the corner flags, paint the penalty spots and corners and walk over the holy grass to make sure there weren't any small piles of grass. After all, the entire pitch needs to be as prepared as possible for the Dutch national team! During all of these tasks, Roy talked about the pitch and his time at the Johan Cruijff ArenA with passion.
Once Roy was content with the field, it was time for Sylvia to prepare the outfits for the volunteers. They would fix any potential damage on the field during the rest of the match together with Roy and Sylvia.
During the match
The eight volunteers arrived around 18:00 and got changed immediately. You could hear the first Oranjefans from outside of the ArenA. Roy gave a short instruction after which the team had dinner, because working is easier with a full stomach!
After this, Roy gave a detailed instruction and planning for the evening. With precise times, Roy explained when and how long Sylvia and the volunteers would be working on the field. About thirty minutes before the match started, the members of the grass team took their assigned seats alongside the pitch of the ArenA.
After the first half of the match, Sylvia and the volunteers came in action. They had just a few minutes to check the entire field on possible damages and to repair it where needed. The damage got repaired with a rake. Sylvia and Roy checked if the goal net was still intact, and went to sit back along side the field after a succesful check of the entire pitch.
After the match
After the victory, all Oranje players walked around the field. Even Robin van Persie, Nigel de Jong and Ibrahim Afellay walked along, so that Oranjefans would have the opportunity to thank them for their contribution as ex-internationals.
With an almost empty ArenA, the grass team walked around the field one more time to repair damages. After that it was time for a well deserved drink and some snacks to talk about the day and have some fun.