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Paget’s Antwan Russell faces emotional clash against PHC

Paget Lions player-coach Antwan Russell (File photograph by Ras Mykkal)

Paget Lions player-coach Antwan Russell says it will be “different“ playing against PHC Zebras for the first time since the death of their captain Marco Warren when the two sides locks horns in the Premier Division at PHC Field tonight (8pm).

Russell is Warren’s cousin and he feels the match will lack some of its lustre without PHC’s former talisman on the pitch

“Every time I have an off weekend from my game, I’ll go to watch PHC and I enjoy watching my two nephews, Keishon [Bean] and Enrique [Russell], but without seeing Marco it’s just like something is missing,” Russell told The Royal Gazette.

“I must admit it’s going to be a little different coming up against PHC without Marco. That’s the thing that’s on my mind right now.”

It has been nearly seven months since Warren was killed, with former Progressive Labour Party senator Curtis Richardson charged with a single count of causing death by driving a vehicle without due care and attention, and Russell has used football as a means of coming to grips with the loss of his relative.

“One thing I know from the many talks I had with Marco is that this [football] is our outlet and our way to give back and change Bermuda in a sense,” he said.

“Sport heals and that’s one thing I have learnt. Sport is therapeutic and so I am using this as some therapy.”

Paget have gone off the boil lately after losing their previous two outings and are facing a tall order against a Zebras side on a three-game winning streak, but Russell is not placing too much focus on his side’s dip in form.

“It’s just another game,” he said. “Another game to right our wrongs from the previous two games. In our last two weeks we have been shy in front of goal. We are getting the chances but just missing them.”

Enrique Russell says PHC are looking forward to the match against Paget.

“Every game of football is always competitive and I always want to win,” he said.

“We at PHC always play to win, no matter who it is against; that’s the goal. This season is special without saying why, but we all know why this season is special.

“I am just looking forward to playing another game of football and never taking it for granted. You never know when it’s your last, so you want to play every game like it is.”

Premier Division action also takes place at Somerset Cricket Club tonight (9pm) with Somerset Trojans taking on Hamilton Parish.

Relegation-threatened Trojans have only one win under their belt this season, while Parish are on a three-game winning streak.

That match will be preceded by the First Division affair pitting Ireland Island Rangers against Boulevard (7pm).