THIS past week has very effectively illustrated the challenges that face all of the teams that harbour realistic expectations of gaining promotion from the National League this season.

We went into our game with Stockport, a team tipped as favourites for the title before the season started, full of confidence after what has been a tough beginning to the campaign for Simon Rusk's men.

Despite an ideal start, through Paul Mullin's cute finish inside the first minute, we were brought down to earth with a bump by a second half in which we were reminded that Stockport, despite their early season woes, still remain a force to be reckoned with and that we will have to fight for everything we are looking to squeeze out of this season.

Nothing can be taken for granted this season, as we drive for promotion and we will have to earn the right to every point we bank over the course of the year.

It's much too early in the year to worry about what other teams are doing, but Tuesday's results, which saw both Chesterfield and Grimsby relinquish the last unbeaten records in the division, showed that this season is unlikely to prove a procession for any of the teams at the top of the table.

For Wrexham, we have started with as challenging a run of games as any team in the division.

The hoary old adage has it that "it's a marathon, not a sprint" and with this particular campaign, we have started on an uphill section, which we are now close to weathering.

Good results against Aldershot and Chesterfield in the next few days would give us a decent springboard to head into the coming run of fixtures with an aim of building a sustained ascent up the table.

The lesson of this week, however, remains: There are no easy games. We must work and work hard.

No doubt many will have seen the news that the club is being forced into replacing the pitch, following the failure of the club's re-seeding process over the summer.

In short, it appears that there has been insufficient depth of root growth which is resulting in the pitch cutting up badly, as attendees at The Racecourse will no doubt have noticed.

Determined, as we are, to give Phil Parkinson and the team a playing surface that gives us the best chance of getting promoted, Rob McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds authorised the relaying of the pitch during the window between our home fixtures against Chesterfield and Torquay.

This throws up the prospect of an FA Cup fourth qualifying round tie at a neutral venue if we are drawn at home.

Disappointing as the possibility of losing a home tie may be, I am confident that everyone will agree that maximising our chances in the long term, in the league, is the way forward.

The new turf is coming from The Netherlands and we will know it is imbued with some sort of mystical essence of Totaalvoetbal if we see Jamie Reckord doing Cruyff turns in the right wing channel following a 54-pass passage of play against Torquay.

Friday sees the first open day for the club's new Powerchair football team at Glyndwr University Sports Hall, next to The Racecourse, from 6-8pm.

It's open to anybody with a disability, not just wheelchair users. It's free to attend, so come on down and try out for the team!

Huge thanks to Kerry Evans, as ever, for driving this initiative. We look forward to many happy and successful years for this arm of the club.

See you at Aldershot! COYR.