Bolt Takes Another Shot At Being A Football Ace
Jamaican is on track to turn professional in Australia
Usain Bolt, the retired athletic icon, is due to join the Australian outfit Central Coast Mariners for a long-term trial later this month although a contract is not imminent.
Bolt, 31, has bagged a deal to train with the side but it does not provide the world’s fastest man with a guaranteed contract, although the hype will undoubtedly see him remain with the club for an undisclosed period.
The team statement read: “The Central Coast Mariners can confirm that Usain Bolt has committed to an indefinite training period.
“The agreement between the Central Coast Mariners and Usain Bolt does not guarantee a professional playing contract, but does provide the eight-time Olympic gold medallist with an opportunity to achieve his burning desire to play football professionally.”
Bolt revealed via the A-League website: “I’m very excited and would like to thank the owner and management of the Central Coast Mariners for giving me this opportunity.
“I always say that ‘Anything is possible, don’t think limits’ and I look forward to the challenge.”
He previously trained with top tier teams in Germany (Borussia Dortmund), Norway (Strømsgodset) and South Africa (Mamelodi Sundowns FC) but his outrageous financial demands – believed to be in the region of US$1m – caused a stumbling block.
Bolt is believed to be arriving in Australia on 18 August with the aim of trying to win a professional contract despite having never played at a high level and his native Jamaica seemingly not yet interested in him joining their national squad for training.
He added:” I know that it will involve a lot of hard work and training to get to the level required to play and make an impact in the A-League.
“When I spoke to head coach Mike Mulvey on the phone he outlined the ambitions of the club and his plans for the upcoming season, so I hope I can make a positive contribution to the club.”
Mariners’ SEO Shaun Mielekamp explained that they must be realistic about the pending trial and said: “It’s important that we don’t get too caught up in the hype of possibilities, but we are committed to building a team that will win matches and hopefully Usain can help us on this mission.”
Bolt has never hidden the fact that he is a huge fan of English Premiership side Manchester United and expressed a desire to play professional football for the past five years.
With his incredible natural speed his major asset of standing 6 foot 5 inches means that he offers a fairly unique combination of both size and strength that is rarely seen on the pitch away from the goalkeeper’s jersey.
Meilekamp added: “The reality is that Usain Bolt has placed his faith in the Central Coast Mariners to accelerate his football journey.
“So now our goal is to be the most innovative, entertaining and community-minded sports brand in Australia.”
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