Newcastle may not have a good team these days but St. James’ Park and the pitch are both top class, and the ground looks just fantastic when the Newcastle games are shown on TV – so hey – that’s something to be happy about.
St. James’ Park – ready to be reseeded
And at the moment the pitch is being relaid as it is every year at this time – and we remember what the pitches were like back in the 1960s and 1970s and in January and February they were all sand and broke up so easily – so the science has come a long way since then.
The pitches these days are so much better – even over the winter months.
We’ve always been impressed with how well the groundsmen do at Newcastle and they don’t get enough credit.
When you look how poor Anfield looked in the first two months of this year, our pitch is on a par with the Emirates – which is probably the best ground and pitch in the Premier League these days.
This is how groundsman Andrew Tully, who’s been at Newcastle 14 years, explained what’s happening at the moment:
“At the moment, we’re at the latter stages of construction,” “Once the final rake goes on, we’ll be ready for seed.” “The top has been taken off, all the vegetation has been removed and 150 tons of fiber-elastic product – which is what holds the root together – has been added.”
“We had one of the strongest pitches we’ve ever had.” “That’s thanks to new products we’re using and a lot of new sprays and fertilizers. We’ve built a program and, because of having the Rugby World Cup as well, we know we’ve got to be even stronger.”
“If we were starting to notice areas that were bad and it was down to nematode damage, going forward we’d probably look at something.” “But if it’s playing well, it’s rooted well and it’s looking great, why change anything?”
“The seed will be going in the ground on Friday night, with any luck, and then it’s a case of watering.” “We’ll be looking to see it green in five to seven days and probably cutting it after ten.”
The Rugby World Cup 2015 kicks off on Friday 18 September, with six weeks of games to follow and St James’ Park is host to three matches:
- Saturday 3 October 4:45 pm (KO) South Africa v Scotland
- Friday 9 October 8:00 pm (KO) New Zealand v Tonga
- Saturday 10 October 2:30 pm (KO) Samoa v Scotland
So we’ll hope Andrew does another good job with the pitch and it looks as good as it has this last season.
Now, if only we can get a team that’s as good as the pitch at St. James’ Park – that’s what we want to see.