Usain Bolt, the world’s fastest man, has signed an unusual trial deal with A-League side the Central Coast Mariners as part of his ongoing dream to transition from sprinting to professional football.
The Mariners broke the news last night after a long period of speculation, confirming the 31-year-old Jamaican superstar will join the club for an “indefinite training period”.
In a statement released last night, the club said the deal does not mean Bolt is a 100% contracted Mariner. Instead, Bolt will train with the Mariners, who may choose to fully sign the legendary Olympian if his skills on the ball prove to be as impressive as his endeavours on the track.
“It has been my dream to play professional football and 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,” Bolt said in the statement.
It’s not the first time Bolt has attempted to transition into professional football since hanging up the spikes. His world tour of prospective clubs has included German top-flight side Borussia Dortmund, South Africa’s Mamelodi Sundowns FC, and Norway’s Strømsgodset.
None of those clubs offered him a fully-fledged contract, but old mate still showed his stuff on the pitch.
Central Coast Mariners CEO Shaun Mielekamp said “it is important that we don’t get too caught up in the hype of possibilities,” but also riffed on the importance of Bolt having the guts to dream.
Bolt is expected to touch down in Australia on August 18 before joining the squad three days later. If his game is up to snuff, he may even be fielded for some pre-season matches before the A-League’s official kick-off on October 19.
After that? Maybe he’ll actually bloody do it.
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