KRC Genk starts work on H.Essers Training Center

27 November 2023 - 12:41

In the shadow of the Cegeka Arena, KRC Genk has started preparatory works on the new training complex for the first team. With the state-of-the-art training complex, KRC Genk aims to take the next step in the club’s further growth. Striking: H.Essers, main sponsor of the KRC Genk Talent Park since September, is also linking its name to the new training complex. The first stone of the H.Essers Training Centre will be laid in autumn 2024.


KRC Genk is a club in full growth. “From a challenger of the top teams, we have grown to become the third most successful club in the country over the past 10 seasons and even the second most successful club of the past five seasons,” chairman Peter Croonen proudly echoes. The club now wants to continue that growth spurt, with the construction of a state-of-the-art Training Centre. The most high-performance in our country, with all modern facilities and located in beautiful green surroundings befitting top-class sport.


Boosting ambition

With the construction of a new training centre, KRC Genk is further strengthening its ambition to perpetuate itself as a top club. “International football is evolving rapidly. If we and KRC Genk want to remain relevant nationally and internationally in the future, we have to keep moving with it. We ask players to come to Genk to win prizes. With the construction of our new training complex, we offer them the best conditions along our side to succeed in that. With the construction of two heated hybrid grass pitches, we can increase the execution speed on training even more and mimic the ball speed during a match,” Head Of Football Dimitri de Condé points out.

In the summer, KRC Genk already carried out several nature compensation projects. Currently, the club is entering the market to find a contractor. The foundation stone laying is scheduled for autumn 2024. The move of the A core to the H.Essers Training Centre is scheduled for 2026.

“This new training centre will be in complete harmony with the surrounding nature. To such an extent even that the hard boundary between building and nature will blur completely. One-third of the first of two floors will be overgrown by the surrounding nature. Because we have chosen to plant the building 50 metres from the Opglabbeker plot, we are creating a ‘front garden’ of some 7,000 square metres. This building will be an example of modern arc

itecture where we prove that nature and architecture are not opposites, but can form a beautiful synergy,” said Peter Cornoedus of PCp Architects.

Mayor Wim Dries adds: “In the mine, everyone was black. Now we are blue & white together in our city. I am therefore proud of how KRC Genk continues to make strides to stay at the top. For our first team, but equally for the many talented players in the youth academies.”

Training Centre specifications

Total area of training site: 43.305 m2
Total area training centre: 6006 m2 + basement of 810 m2
217 m2 ‘front yard’
Three training pitches: two hybrid and heated grass pitches, one natural grass pitch


H.Essers Training Center

The vice-champion’s new training complex will bear the name H.Essers Training Center. Together with the Jos Vaessen Talent Academy, the Training Centre will be part of the H.Essers Talent Park. As a major employer with Limburg roots, H.Essers is happy to put its weight behind the development of Genk’s talent.

“We know how important it is to give talent the opportunity to excel. In our own H.Essers Academy, we train a new generation of logistics talents and everyone gets the opportunity to become the best professional version of themselves. In the same way, with the H.Essers Training Centre, we want to give KRC Genk’s players every opportunity to shine on the pitch,” says Gert Bervoets, CEO of H.Essers.


Master plan

KRC Genk’s new training complex has a price tag of €20 million. It is part of a broader master plan which will include the renovation of the Cegeka Arena in the next phase. In addition, the H.Essers Talent Park should eventually be home to a competition infrastructure where Jong Genk and KRC Genk Ladies can play their matches. KRC Genk has budgeted €70 million for the overall master plan. “In this way we want to bring all our football activities, from the youth, over the ladies to the first team, together on one site and that in the shadow of the slag heap of Waterschei. No other club in our country imitates us,” concludes general manager Erik Gerits.