The world’s fastest man, retired Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt, is taking another shot at his dream of becoming a professional footballer, committing to “an indefinite training period” with Australian A-League football team, the Central Coast Mariners.
The club, based north of Sydney, confirmed the deal today after weeks of speculation, saying it doesn’t guarantee the eight-time Olympic gold medallist a contract, but having trained with German, Norwegian and South African sides, Australia now looks like the champion’s best shot.
“I am very excited about coming to Australia and would like to thank the owner and management of the Central Coast Mariners for giving me this opportunity,” Bolt said.
“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.”
He’s expected to begin the trials from August 18.
“I hope I can make a positive contribution to the club and look forward to meeting the other players, staff and fans in the coming weeks,” he said.
“I always say that ‘anything is possible, don’t think limits’ and I look forward to the challenge.”
Central Coast Mariners CEO, Shaun Mielekamp, said the club’s goal was “to be the most innovative, entertaining and community-minded sports brand in Australia” and Bolt’s ambitions aligned with that philosophy.
“It is important that we don’t get too caught up in the hype of possibilities, but the reality is that Usain Bolt has placed his faith in the Central Coast Mariners to accelerate his football journey,” he said.
“Whilst we all know this must be tempered with the reality that there is a job to do and hard work ahead, we are committed to building a team that will win matches and instil belief, hopefully Usain can help us on this mission.”
Mielekamp said expects the deal to catch the attention of fans globally.
“Sports lovers who will join us and dare to dream, sports lovers who truly believe that only those who are brave enough to try and do the impossible are capable of achieving anything,” he said.
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