Eight-time Olympic champion Usain Bolt set to make Central Coast Mariners debut

Usain Bolt is set to make his footballing debut for Australian club Central Coast Mariners in a friendly on Friday night.

Bolt, 32, has long spoken of his ambition to become a professional footballer and his trial at the A-League club follows similar stints for sides in Germany and Norway.

The Olympic sprint champion has been put through his paces for the Mariners – who finished bottom of the league last season – after being signed on an indefinite trial for the club based 50 miles north of Sydney.

Head coach Mike Mulvey has said the eight-time Olympic champion is likely to play some part at the Central Coast Stadium against a select XI in front of more than 10,000 fans.

Manchester-born Mulvey said: “It comes down to what the fitness coaches tell me with regards to how his body’s coping with the loading we’ve got at the moment. But I would imagine he’s going to be playing some part on Friday.

“When you do track and field it’s virtually a straight line and a track coach will never ask you to decelerate or accelerate the way that we do, it’s multidirectional movement in football, so he has to get used to that.

“I’m quite pleased with the way he’s progressing, and he’ll be sore every night, because the sessions are quite gruelling, but he’s determined.”

The 100m and 200m world-record holder is currently having an indefinite trial with the Mariners as he bids to earn himself a sport-swapping contract for the forthcoming A-League season, which starts in October.

The Mariners finished last season bottom of the pile with only four wins in 27 matches and Bolt said he was determined to make a difference in Gosford.

He said: “I expect to make mistakes. I also expect I’ll go and make myself proud, and to push myself. I know I’m not going to have the perfect game.

“The season doesn’t start until the end of October, so I have time.

“It’s just about being focused, taking my time, being smart and pushing myself to get to the level I need to get to be in the starting 11.

“It’s just time. I don’t know how my body is going to feel. I know when I get on the field, I’m always going to push myself to the limit.”

The Jamaican watched from the sidelines and posed for selfies with fans last weekend as the Mariners and local rivals Newcastle Jets drew 2-2 in a pre-season friendly in Maitland.

Stay updated with the latest news, gossip and football stories by following us @Football_P

identicon
Football Paradise Staff Reporter

Serving quality football news from around the globe. No click-bait.

Newsletter