Flapper in Games contention

COMMONWEALTH Games aspirant Matt Flapper is counting down to the Australian lawn bowls team announcement.

Flapper, 35, is one of 10 men in contention for a five-man national squad for the Glasgow games in July.

The Ocean Grove skipper pencilled a Warrnambool visit into his busy 2014 calendar as he ramps up his preparation ahead of a potential Commonwealth Games debut.

Flapper and Ocean Grove teammate Paul Cameron were among 84 players who contested the opening day of the Des Notley Classic Pairs at City Memorial Bowls Club yesterday.

They will push for overall honours today.

Flapper said he had played in the annual two-day tournament “four or five” times.

“I was meant to be here last year but had representative bowls I had to go to for Australia,” he said.

“I was in New Zealand so I couldn’t get here but was able to come back this year which was good.

“It is a good area to play bowls in and a couple of days off work too, that’s got to be a good thing.”

Flapper said he was eager to impress Australian selectors in the lead-up to the Glasgow games. 

He described the competition as the “pinnacle of lawn bowls”. 

“I am on the verge of playing my 300th game for Victoria,” he said. “I have been playing there since 1999 and for Australia I have been in the side 18 months and we have a big six months coming up in preparation for the Commonwealth Games.

“I am in the mix to get a spot for that so I’ve just got to wait and see.

“We have a trial in two weeks’ time and they will pick a side to play New Zealand in Trans-Tasman and they are going to announce the team they’re going to take to the Commonwealth Games in April.”

The former Central Wendouree and Essendon player is in his second year as Ocean Grove coach.

He guided it to a breakthrough Bowls Victoria state pennant crown last year and has the side well-placed for another flag tilt.

“We had a fair bit of success last year. We went and won the Victorian pennant,” he said yesterday.

“We won the premier league in Geelong and Ballarat and went through and won the overall state.

“We’re sitting third on the ladder with five weeks to go.

“But hopefully we’re about to hit our peak.”

The Des Notley Classic Pairs finishes at 6.15pm today.

justine.mc@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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