Sprint star Bolt will have to 'impress' new Aussie soccer coach
08 Aug 2018, 13:57
Sprint star Usain Bolt will have to "impress the coach" to be offered a playing contract with Australia's Central Coast Mariners Football Club, its chief executive officer Shaun Mielekamp said on Wednesday.
Following the club's announcement that the retired Jamaican sprinter and record-breaking Olympic gold medalist is starting his soccer training with it for "an indefinite training period", Mielekamp said in a press conference that Bolt's training program "will be structured to see if he can reach a level of playing that earns him a professional contract".
"This may take three weeks, three months, six months. Or it may take longer. Who knows. Only time will tell. But it's exciting to see what this will do for our region," said Mielekamp.
"There's a lot of hard work ahead and we're committed to building a team that will win matches and instil belief in our community. Hopefully Usain can help us on this mission," he said.
Bolt, 31, is expected to move to the club's base in New South Wales state's Central Coast area. His playing position will be "probably a question for the coach in future weeks as he gets to the ground and puts the boots on. Everyone knows he's fast, everyone knows he's big so there's some obvious positions that you would think of. l will leave that to the football department to guide us on that one," said Mielekamp.
"One thing that's really exciting for us and we are very aware of is what may the 'Bolt effect' look like for us in the future. If there are more players around the world that know our brand, know our club and know our region then that can only be a positive".