Tickets are selling fast for your chance to see Usain Bolt in action at Campbelltown next month.
The sprinter-turned-soccer player will line up for the Central Coast Mariners in an A-League pre-season game at Campbelltown Sports Stadium on Friday, October 12.
The Mariners will face a South West National Premier League invitational team at 7.30pm.
More than 2000 tickets have already been sold after the match was officially announced yesterday (Thursday, September 27).
The match will also be used as a trial for the Macarthur South West Sydney bid to become an A-League club in 2019.
Macarthur South West Sydney’s co-chairman Gino Marra said he couldn’t wait for Bolt to come to Campbelltown.
“We have one of the greatest sporting talents in the world coming to our home town,” he said.
“I expect to see a real footballer and Bolt to prove he’s not a sideshow.
“I think people will be quietly surprised by how well Usain plays – it will be really interesting.”
The invitational team will be made of players from south-west Sydney’s National Premier League clubs, including the Macarthur Rams.
Marra said the match would provide a great opportunity for south-west Sydney footballers to showcase their talent.
“We are giving the opportunity to local kids and it’s a good chance for these players to get recognised,” he said.
I expect to see a real footballer and Usain Bolt to prove he’s not a sideshow.Macarthur South West Sydney’s co-chairman Gino Marra
Central Coast Mariners CEO Shaun Mielekamp said Bolt was “raring to go” for the match at Campbelltown.
“We are about to roll into our next phase with Usain with an increased focus on match condition and physical fitness,” he said.
“Usain’s had one trial match so far and he handled that well.
"This is an important game for him at Campbelltown and we will give him as much game time as he needs.
"Usain is a natural talent with his size and presence. We’re excited to see what he can do.”
Mielekamp said the Campbelltown match was crucial for his team’s preparation ahead of the upcoming A-League season, which begins on October 19.
“We’ve been carefully building with clever recruitment of new players during the off-season,” he said.
Mielekamp said the Mariners had never played in Campbelltown but the club looked forward to the visit.
“Campbelltown has a fantastic stadium and pitch, and Macarthur is a great region that is a hot bed for talent,” he said.
“There have been plenty of Socceroos players come through Macarthur.”
Mielekamp said Macarthur soccer fans could expect an entertaining match on October 12.
"We play a very attacking and positive style of football – speed is one of our biggest assets,” he said.
Mariners forward Peter Kekeris said he was “buzzing” to play at Campbelltown Stadium.
Kekeris, who hails from Belmore, said his family and friends would head along to watch the game.
“I can’t wait to get out there because it’s the first time I’ve played at Campbelltown Stadium,” he said.
“We haven’t studied our opposition but we expect them to have some great players who want to give it their all.
“We know it will be a great game.”
Kekeris joined the A-League club this season after a two-year stint at the Central Coast Mariners Academy.
The 19-year-old said he was pleased with his on-field form since getting his opportunity in the pre-season.
“It’s all new to me but I think I’ve done well so far,” Kekeris said.
“The team has done really well this pre-season especially with improving our physical fitness and game style.
“I think we will be a force to be reckoned with this A-League season.”
Kekeris said he had been inspired by Bolt and described the eight-time Olympian as a “great guy”.
“It’s amazing to train with Usain every day,” he said.
“He has such a strong mindset that has made him so successful but he is still a humble guy.”
Tickets to the game start at $10 from ticketek.com.au.