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News and Commentary On Newcastle United By Ed Harrison, A Proud Exiled Geordie And Lifelong Fan

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Howay The Lads!!

We May Not Have A Good Team But This Is Great At Newcastle

4:41 pm, Friday, June 5th, 2015 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 14 Comments

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 - relaid 2015

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.

Comments welcome.

Tags: Newcastle News · Other News · St. James' Park

14 responses so far ↓

  • 1 nufc786 // Jun 5, 2015 at 4:42 PM

    Stats on Abeid

  • 2 Average_Contents // Jun 5, 2015 at 4:47 PM

    As if anyone’s arsed about the pitch at the moment (or any time for that matter)

    I could think of more productive things for the club to do, ya know like a HC recruitment process and subsequent announcement or the recruitment of players to play on said pitch.

    Oh look, the seeds are growing….

  • 3 RooneyToons // Jun 5, 2015 at 4:49 PM


    Or they all have nothing to print so run with the same story, each outlets story giving the next more credibility.

    I know how it works my uncle was a sports writer for the Independent and they’re one of the most reliable.

    I think it probably is McLaren and if I was a betting man I would put my money on it but its not definite by any means…. everyone’s acting like he’s signed up and we’re bottom of the league

    Or maybe that’s in 9 months time haha

  • 4 Moonraker15 // Jun 5, 2015 at 4:51 PM

    Couldn’t believe Carvup left him out in the critical games when it was crying out for another midfielder holding!

    It need not have gone to the last day but that’s typical !

  • 5 Moonraker15 // Jun 5, 2015 at 4:52 PM

    Abeid that is !

  • 6 jimmynotcricket // Jun 5, 2015 at 4:53 PM

    I know this is not going to be popular but..

    The real commitment of the fan base to influence change is minimal and the owners know that any old flannel will buy us back. What evidence do I have of this?

    What about the pathetic “protest” after the West Ham game. A handful stayed behind after the game. far more useful you see to go and grumble to your mates in the pub.

    And astonishingly a majority of the fans felt “more positive” after Ashley’s “interview”. The same people who will with few exceptions stump up for season tickets after all the empty talk.

    Sorry lads but this will get us more of the same.

  • 7 ToonFromLeeds // Jun 5, 2015 at 4:54 PM

    McClaren’s biggest target is Austin

  • 8 RooneyToons // Jun 5, 2015 at 5:00 PM

    Also why would McLaren have a meeting to agree the job and then go on holiday to sign it when he returned??

    He’d sign it before his holiday or delay his holiday until it was its not like he can’t afford it.

    The press have added that in to give credibility to the fact nothing has been announced where as really we’re probably just interviewing other candidates that the press have no idea who they are

  • 9 barkel // Jun 5, 2015 at 5:03 PM


    It looks like the clubs biggest target not, so much McLarens. IF they already have their targets like Carver said they did, it would seem that the HC will not have any say or perhaps they’re waiting for a contract to be signed before they do fully pursue players

  • 10 barkel // Jun 5, 2015 at 5:04 PM

    I love the optimism RooneyToons

  • 11 mactoon // Jun 5, 2015 at 5:12 PM

    At least the pitch will last a full season as at this rate we wont have enough players to cause it any damage

  • 12 lesh // Jun 5, 2015 at 5:42 PM

    But what about the new training facilities? Are they finished yet?

  • 13 davis_toons // Jun 6, 2015 at 2:51 AM

    Everyone of us have a little “RooneyToons” in us..the question is how much 1% or more?

    The is still a small little chance that Mike can pull a rabbit out of his hat. We really hope so,..

    Even Articles like McClaren is better the Alan Pardew is progressing..

    I still believe is a real change. A McClaren can come later.

  • 14 davis_toons // Jun 6, 2015 at 2:57 AM

    *I still believe in a real change.

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