Grass snipper hopes to cut Bolt down to size
Matt Page spent three and a half years mowing lawns and not once during those 1200-odd days snipping grass did he consider his next job might be to cut down the world’s fastest man.
But all that unintentional training will be put to excellent use tonight when the local footballer takes on Usain Bolt as part of an amateur Central Coast Select side aiming, finally, to put one over the Mariners.
Page is the long-time captain and former coach of The Entrance Bateau Bay FC, and a regular in the pre-season fixture that this year will double as Bolt’s much-hyped club debut.
Until a few weeks ago, Page was working full-time maintaining the pitch at Pluim Park – one of the Mariners’ training venues in Lisarow, near Gosford.
If not for the Bolt effect this traditional friendly would have been held there, in front of a couple of hundred fans paying a gold coin donation.
Instead, the 34-year-old will find himself under Central Coast Stadium’s bright lights and on show to an expected 12,000, including a throng of his own family and friends.
And as a right-sided centreback he should have left-winger Bolt right in his sights.
“For me, he’s greatness. You know what I mean?” Page said.
“You don’t get the chance to be close to greatness very often, let alone running around on the same field.”
Page predicts a cat-andmouse game for the first few minutes while his team works out how best to stop a football rookie who has run the 100m in 9.58 seconds.
“He’s quite an imposing figure so that’ll be difficult,” Page said. “You’ve got to be close and put a bit of pressure on to test him out, but if you get too close and he gets on the wrong side of you, you’re not going to catch him.” — Emma Kemp
Watch Usain Bolt in action tonight as the Mariners face Central Coast Selection live and exclusive on Fox Sports Channel 505 from 7pm (AEST).
SET TO CLASH: Central Coast Select player Matt Page and Mariners star recruit Usain Bolt meet up at Pluim Park, Lisarow.