Usain Bolt insisted his goal of playing professional football was no pipe dream as he arrived in Australia for his training stint with the Central Coast Mariners.
The Jamaican touched down at Sydney International Airport on Saturday ahead of his “indefinite” trial with the A-League side. He will train with the team for the first time on Tuesday.
The eight-time Olympic champion, who retired from athletics last year, said: “This is real. I’ve told the world that I want to be a footballer and I know what I can do for the Mariners who are giving me the opportunity to show what I’m capable of.”
The 31-year-old has already trained with several clubs around the world, including Borussia Dortmund, Stromsgodset in Norway and Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa.
Wearing a Mariners scarf as he addressed waiting media at the airport, he was quoted on the Mariners website as saying: “This is a great opportunity for me.
“The Central Coast Mariners have given me a great opportunity and I’m just going to come here and do my best. I always put my best foot forward and I’m going to show the world what I’m made of.”
Asked if he was nervous, Bolt added: “Nerves are always going to be there but I’m more excited than anything else.”
The Mariners announced earlier this month that Bolt would be training with them, but emphasised the extended trial was not a commitment to a contract.
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