Grass snip­per hopes to cut Bolt down to size

Warwick Daily News - - SPORT - FOOT­BALL:

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).

Photo: Toby Zerna

SET TO CLASH: Cen­tral Coast Se­lect player Matt Page and Mariners star re­cruit Usain Bolt meet up at Pluim Park, Lis­arow.

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