Sunday 22 September 2019

Central Coast Mariners part company with Usain Bolt following trial

Olympic sprinter Usain Bolt celebrates scoring a goal for A-League football club Central Coast Mariners in his first competitive start for the club against Macarthur South West United in Sydney
Olympic sprinter Usain Bolt celebrates scoring a goal for A-League football club Central Coast Mariners in his first competitive start for the club against Macarthur South West United in Sydney

Alexander Britton

Eight-time Olympic gold medallist Usain Bolt's trial at Australian football club the Central Coast Mariners is over.

The club announced on Friday morning that it was parting ways with the 32-year-old, who was on an indefinite trial.

Bolt played 95 minutes for the A-League outfit in two trial games and scored twice against weak opposition, but appeared to find the transition from track to field tricky.

The club, Bolt and his agent Ricky Simms were trying to find a commercial deal but said they will not be "able to settle on a suitable deal in a timely manner".

The Jamaican said: "I would like to thank the Central Coast Mariners owners, management, staff, players and fans for making me feel so welcome during my time there. I wish the club success for the season ahead."

Bolt's brace came in a friendly against Macarthur South West United with on-loan strike partner Ross McCormack saying: "If he pulls it all together, he can be some threat".

But former Republic of Ireland international Andy Keogh was less taken by Bolt, saying the sprint star had a first touch "like a trampoline".

Central Coast Mariners owner Mike Charlesworth wished Bolt well for the future.

He said: "Despite the fact that we could not come to an agreement that would continue Usain Bolt's football journey with the Central Coast Mariners, we've been thrilled to have the Olympic champion sprinter and world record holder as part of our club for these past eight weeks.

"For the Mariners, it's been a pleasure to work with Usain as he pursued his desire to become a professional football player.

"From day one, Usain dedicated himself to being part of the Mariners. He integrated very well into the team and made great strides as a footballer.

"Most notable, was his performance in Campbelltown where he scored two goals helping the Mariners secure a 4-0 win against Macarthur South West United.

"Whilst we understand that Usain will not be part of the club going forward, the Central Coast Mariners wish him all the best in his future endeavours and we hope that opportunities arise to collaborate in other capacities in the future."

PA Media

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