0 October-that was the month that was!

October-That was the Month That was!

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Well here we are at the end of October in what has been one of the busiest months that I can ever remember. We started with the England training session on the 5th and seem not to have stopped since. I told all my staff to put their "gum shields " in on the 5th and we took them out Saturday evening on the 28th.

A total of six games have been played, including the Rugby League Cup Final and four training sessions in 22 days.

The pitch has performed well throughout the month and to be honest is better than I could ever have hoped for at the start of it all. The weather has certainly helped and if it were not for the 'Groundsman' in the sky I would have struggled to get through as well as we did.

In the warmest ever October, my efforts have been smiled on. The pitch looks just a bit tired and sorry for itself and I intend to give it as much of a rest as I can. I applied 12 X 25kg of 5-5-10 on Sunday morning in an attempt to put back some nutrients that may well have been leached out in the last few weeks.

I have been cutting the pitch lower than normal due to the warm weather. But for a few days I intend not to cut it at all and then to raise the height of cut when I resume mowing again. My next fixture is the England friendly international against Sweden here on November 10th.

I will then take it back down to its normal playing height.

I will not really know how much this month has taken out of the pitch until we start to play on it again. The growth has slowed down, especially on the south side of the pitch.

It was noticeable that I had a few more divots on that side in the game against Leeds United. With what we know of the stadium and its micro- climate it is going to be very interesting over the next couple of months. The Leeds game had kicked off at noon on the Saturday. We had non-stop rain for most of the day Friday where a total of 18mm fell in 24 hours. On the day of the game we were in at 6 o'clock in the morning cutting under the beam of the floodlights, we were marked out and ready by 9-30 am.

I may have said before that we must all be mad………I think I've proved it again!

Here's to a happy November.

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