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London One North: Eton Manor head coach Jamie Connors excited about future after Artificial Grass Pitch installation process starts

PUBLISHED: 16:00 07 March 2018

Pictures from when work on installing an Artificial Grass Pitch (AGP) at Eton Manor's New Wilderness home started last month (pic: Martin Pearl/Eton Manor RFC).

Pictures from when work on installing an Artificial Grass Pitch (AGP) at Eton Manor's New Wilderness home started last month (pic: Martin Pearl/Eton Manor RFC).

Archant

Work on the new AGP at the New Wilderness has been taking place since the middle of February and it bodes well for the club going forward

Pictures from when work on installing an Artificial Grass Pitch (AGP) at Eton Manor's New Wilderness home started last month (pic: Martin Pearl/Eton Manor RFC). Pictures from when work on installing an Artificial Grass Pitch (AGP) at Eton Manor's New Wilderness home started last month (pic: Martin Pearl/Eton Manor RFC).

Eton Manor head coach Jamie Connors is buoyant about the future of the London One North club after they were recently picked to have an Artificial Grass Pitch (AGP) put in place at their Wanstead-based venue.

The news was revealed last month and work is already underway at the New Wilderness with the artificial surface set to be in place by June at the very latest.

It has helped create plenty of optimism at Manor and not even the poor weather of late, due to the beast from the east and Storm Emma, has knocked spirits at the club.

Connors said: “The snow has delayed the process of putting the pitch in a little bit, probably by about three days, so we are a few days off the programme now, but it is exciting for us.

“It is a short process, they go in quite quickly because it only takes 12 weeks, so we are probably three or four weeks into that and I imagine at the end of May it will probably be finished.

“Maybe it will get completed for the start of June, but we’ll definitely have it in place for pre-season, so it is definitely exciting times for the club and it could be a bit of a game changer hopefully.

“We certainly won’t have to play home games away from the New Wilderness or train elsewhere, so it is really good news and not just for the seniors.

“It is also great for all the kids’ teams, so they will be able to run around on it as well and it is exciting stuff.”

While there has been plenty of good news off the pitch at Manor, there has been a lack of rugby on it.

Not because of their AGP being installed, but due to the bad weather and they haven’t played a league game since February 17.

Manor were set to host Old Haberdashers last weekend, but the fixture was postponed a day before the game due to a frozen surface.

“We would have called it off on Wednesday if we could, but league rules say you have got to take it to the Friday and then Saturday if you can, which is fine and we called it off on Friday lunchtime as it was,” said Connors.

The bad weather is hopeful gone now and Manor will aim to return to winning ways at the weekend when they visit struggling Letchworth Garden City.

Connors’ side haven’t played since losing 62-10 at leaders Brentwood and they will seek to firmly put that disappointing result behind them on Saturday.

He added: “A break just makes everyone lose focus and it is such a long season to keep the guys on point and this doesn’t come at a great time really, particularly as we had a big win against us last time out, so it would have been good to play last week.

“It is what it is, there is not much we can do about it unfortunately and we’ve just got to look forward to this Saturday against Letchworth and we are training again at the club this week, so we’ll be positive and look to enjoy the rest of the season.”

Manor are still fifth in the table and just five points off fourth-placed Amersham & Chiltern with six more fixtures to play.

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