Such is the buzz swirling around the match that it will be broadcast live on pay TV and 10,000 fans are expected to cram into the Central Coast Stadium for what is normally a low-key pre-season fixture.The club, which finished bottom of the domestic A-League last season, is planning fireworks and other entertainment to keep fans amused until Bolt makes his entrance.All eyes will be on the eight-time Olympic champion with a local paper planning to distribute 100,000 cardboard cut-out face masks of the 32-year-old for onlookers to wear.“I think that will be a bit weird, but not too weird,” Bolt, who favours playing left wing, joked of the masks. “I’ve seen a little bit of that in track and field. But it will be something new to play the first game and see that.”Bolt dominated sprinting after taking double individual gold at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and he remains the world record holder for the 100 metres.He went on to win a further six Olympic golds and pick up 11 world titles before retiring last year and pursuing his passion for football.Bolt’s football dream is still a work in progress, with Bolt admitting this week to struggling with the constant stop-start of the sport, unlike his usual quick fire sprint on the athletics track © AFP / Saeed KHANDespite being used to running in front of 100,000 spectators and millions of TV viewers, the nerves are jangling as he enters a new phase in his career, having tried out with several other clubs around the world to no avail.“There will be nerves, definitely. It’s not like a charity game anymore, this is a career I’m pursuing,” said Bolt.“I expect to make mistakes, but I also expect to go in, make myself proud and push myself.”His football dream is still a work in progress, with Bolt admitting this week to struggling with the constant stop-start of the sport, unlike his usual quick fire sprint on the athletics track.“He doesn’t have football fitness, which is natural. We have not brought him in and said you have to do this and do that by this time,” said Mariners coach Mike Mulvey, who has given Bolt an indefinite time to prove himself.“For this Friday, it comes down to what the fitness coaches tell me with regards to how his body’s coping with the loading we’ve got at the moment.“But I would imagine he’s going to be playing some part on Friday.”– Spotlight –Mariners head of performance Andrew Young was blunt in his assessment: “As of right now, Usain’s not in the type of condition required to play A-League,” he told Sydney’s Daily Telegraph.“We have to work on his aerobic capacity and he knows that.”The Mariners kick off their A-League season away to Brisbane Roar on October 21.All eyes will be on the eight-time Olympic champion with a local paper planning to distribute 100,000 cardboard cut-out face masks of the 32-year-old for onlookers to wear © AFP / Saeed KHANDespite Bolt being likely to spend most of Friday’s game on the bench, his presence at the club’s base in Gosford, 75 kilometres (47 miles) north of Sydney, has generated global excitement and Mulvey is lapping it up.“What the lads in the office are telling me, there could be 10,000-12,000 people here, that’s quite unbelievable for a pre-season game. But I welcome it because it puts us under a little bit of a spotlight,” he said.While Bolt is used to the trappings of fame and fortune, he is determined to be just “one of the boys” in his new life around the Gosford area, a popular weekend getaway from Sydney with magnificent national parks and sandy beaches.The bright lights of Sydney are not far away, but he has no plans to be out partying.“I do want to enjoy the city and the life but I’m still going to remember that I’m a professional footballer now so I have to respect the coach and what rules the Mariners put down,” he said.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Usain Bolt is likely to be handed a 10 or 15 minute run-out for Australia’s Central Coast Mariners in a friendly against an amateur side as he works towards his dream of earning a playing contract © AFP / Saeed KHANSYDNEY, Australia, Aug 30 – Usain Bolt is set to get a first taste of competitive football on Friday in a much-hyped game, but the sprint superstar admits he is nervous with his fitness levels not up to scratch.The Jamaican is likely to be handed a 10 or 15 minute run-out for Australia’s Central Coast Mariners in a friendly against an amateur side as he works towards his dream of earning a playing contract and becoming a professional footballer.
It’s chilly around the Dal lake on Saturday afternoon, but a cruise-houseboat with an open-air theatre sets off to generate warmth with live music and enthusiastic youngsters.In a bid to reclaim lost social spaces and nose-diving tourism, the Jammu & Kashmir tourism department has started ‘Valley Weekends’, an initiative to infuse new life into the otherwise dull weekends in the conflict-ridden Valley.“The open-air houseboat will be like an open-air theatre. People will perform every weekend. The idea is to revitalise social spaces and defeat the notions that winters are dull in the Valley. And the fact is youngsters want to come out and experience things,” said Sarmad Hafeez, secretary, tourism. The initiative involves heritage walks, ethnic food festivals and music shows across the Valley. “Tourists can now relish hareesa, a local winter meat dish served in breakfast, at a new joint started at Boulevard on Saturday. The idea is to expose tourists to local flavours and also the flavours of the different seasons. Autumn and winter seasons are equally enjoyable in Kashmir as summers,” said Mr. Hafeez.Protests dent tourism Street protests and militant violence in the past two years dented the tourism sector in Kashmir, with the peak season in 2017 witnessing “an 80% slump”. The weekend festivals, offering experiences and a host of entertainment activities, are aimed at reviving tourist footfalls. Mountain biking, canoeing and rowing will now be a weekend fixture.“‘Valley Weekends’ will help keep youth engaged with the activities and make Kashmir a lively place for tourists,” said director, tourism, Mahmood A. Shah.He said “it will send a positive message across the globe that Kashmir is a safe and a tourist-friendly place”.
View comments John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Reyes, although appreciative of Abueva’s effort, said the he was there as “part of the pool.” But Abueva is not counting on it.“I’m here to give everything that I have [in practice],” Abueva said. “We all don’t know what can happen.”Gilas won its first two matches in this grueling qualifying home-and-away series being used by the Fiba for the first time, routing the Japanese in Tokyo and then carving out a tight win over Chinese Taipei at Smart Araneta Coliseum last November.Naturalized center Andray Blatche planed in on Friday and was glad to rejoin practice, appearing to be in far better shape compared to the previous times when he came over after long vacations.June Mar Fajardo, Japeth Aguilar, Jayson Castro, Gabe Norwood, RR Pogoy, Jio Jalalon, Carl Bryan Cruz, Matthew Wright, Kevin Alas and Kiefer Ravena are the other members of the Gilas team bracketed in Group B with Australia, Japan and Taiwan. They will be fighting for one of seven available slots for Asia.ADVERTISEMENT AFP official booed out of forum LATEST STORIES MOST READ The injured Troy Rosario was the only one missing in practice at West Greenhills g.ym and would likely be out for the duel with the Aussies at Margaret Court Arena in Melbourne and against Japan at Mall of Asia Arena three days later.Rosario took a horrific fall in TNT KaTropa’s game against Phoenix Petroleum last week and sat out the Texters’ next game against Barangay Ginebra on Sunday.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutHe hit the floor face first and had to be wheeled out of the game strapped in a gurney.Calvin Abueva, who along with Raymond Almazan were dropped for the coming matches by Reyes after failing to attend several practice sessions, was at the workout on Monday which fueled speculations that he could be recalled with Rosario likely to be out. Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoises NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencers Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Gilas Pilipinas has started practicing full time and in full force, but coach Chot Reyes is seeking understanding from everyone as he again made it a closed-door session as the Filipinos gear up for a tough battle with Australia on Feb. 22 in the Fiba World Cup 2019 Asian Qualifiers.ADVERTISEMENT Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City Globe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PH Has the POC president gone deaf and blind? Read Next 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena sting