Usain Bolt makes pro debut for Central Coast Mariners
BERNAT LÓPEZ / ©XTREM FOOTBALL
Usain Bolt made his latest foray into football with a 20 minute cameo for Australian side Central Coast Mariners in their 6-1 win over a Central Coast Select XI. Bolt was drafted into the Mariners attack for the final part of the game – starting on the left and eventually playing in a more advanced role.
A few good attacking moves were thwarted by the Jamaican’s heavy first touch, while he failed to get his head to a cross from Jack Clisby when the result of the game was beyond doubt.
The multiple Olympic gold medalist showed good movement and awareness – none more so when he was forced to the sidelines as a member of the team had to remove a necklace he was wearing.
The 32-year-old was put on the pitch in the 71st minute after 10.000 fans repetitively chanted “WE WANT BOLT”. He had to impress the bosses to improve his chances of securing a permanent contract before the Aussie season starts in October. Bolt oozed confidence as he pulled out some step-over skills at the Central Coast Stadium. But he only managed to make one pass after touching the ball nine times.
“It was good. It was what I was expected. The crowd gave me plenty of motivation”Usain Bolt
Speaking after the match, Bolt said: “It was good. It was what I was expected. The crowd gave me plenty of motivation. I think my fitness is much better than the first week since I came here. I’m grateful for the Mariners for giving me the chance”.
“Right now I’m just trying to get used to the guys, it’s a wonderful moment, to actually get on the field and play professional football. The players have really accepted me, trying to teach me things and encouraging me to push myself”, he added.