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Manchester United fan Usain Bolt has just joined A-League club Central Coast Mariners for an "indefinite training" period.
Athletics great Usain Bolt did some light stretching and jogging before a 15-minute passing drill in Gosford on Tuesday.
The sprint king was put through his paces on the Central Coast
Usain Bolt has officially started his attempt to obtain an A-League contract, walking onto Central Coast Stadium in front of a packed media contingent.
Bolt, who arrived in Australia on Saturday, has started a brief training session with the Central Coast Mariners.
A 15-minute passing drill will be coach Mike Mulvey’s first chance to judge the Jamaican sprint superstar’s football skills.
The eight-time Olympic gold medallist is expected to otherwise be restricted to agility work during his first hit-out with the A-League club.
Bolt was all smiles as he celebrated his 32nd birthday in windy conditions in Gosford.
A crowd of about 50 journalists and photographers crowded around the players’ tunnel to get a glimpse of Bolt, who gave a thumbs-up as he walked onto the field.
“At the moment, it’s all about creating opportunities so until we see what happens, what’s the worst that can happen? We say thanks for your time on the Central Coast and keep working. There’s nothing too wrong with that,” Mariners chief executive Shaun Mielekamp told Fox Sports.
“For us, it’s really about getting him out there, see what he can do and let his performance [as a footballer] do the talking.”
Bolt, whose “indefinite” training period with the Mariners has brought unprecedented worldwide media coverage for the A-League, will be eased into his football duties.
It’s been just over a year since he retired from athletics and while the 100-metre sprint king is naturally fit and keeps active, diving head-first into training with a professional football team in pre-season mode is too big a risk for all concerned.
Bolt has previously trained with clubs in Germany, South Africa and Norway without being offered a contract.
The post Birthday boy Usain Bolt begins Central Coast Mariners trial appeared first on The New Daily.
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Wearing a Central Coast Mariners scarf as he prepares for his A-League trial, former sprint king Usain Bolt has touched down in Sydney ahead of his much-anticipated open-ended trial with the club.
After a 14-hour flight from Los Angeles, Bolt briefly greeted a bunch of Mariners fans and a media pack at Sydney international Airport on Saturday before being whisked away in a black van.
He told the waiting pack that the trial was “for real” and he was excited to hit the training paddock on Tuesday.
Central Coast Mariners couldn’t contain their excitement, posting on Twitter: “usainbolt has landed”.
“The next step of his football journey is underway. Don’t think limits.”
.@usainbolt has landed!
— Central Coast Mariners (@CCMariners) August 17, 2018
The eight-time Olympic gold medallist and 11-time world champion is in the country for what the Mariners are calling an “indefinite training period.”
The club hopes to turn him into A-League material in just three months, with a view to offering the Jamaican a full-time contract in time for the start of the 2018/19 season in late-October.
To that end, the Mariners have poured additional coaching and high-performance resources into the project, which both parties insist is not a stunt.
“I’ve said all along this is for real and I’m here to show what I can do,” said Bolt upon landing.
“I know what I’m capable of and I know what I can do, so this is the opportunity.”
The Mariners have carved a large lightning bolt into the grass at Gosford’s Central Coast Stadium, engaged the services of a videographer to capture Bolt’s time at the club and several club officials, including CEO Shaun Mielekamp, rolled out the welcome mat at the airport.
— Central Coast Mariners (@CCMariners) August 17, 2018
Chairman of the Mariners’ official supporters’ group, Mark Leadbeatter, made the hour-plus drive south to catch a glimpse of the Bolt show.
“I was certainly interested when I first heard the news. It’s out of the box and the more I’ve heard about it, the more I’ve come to embrace it,” said the British ex-pat, who adopted the Mariners as his team when arriving in Australia 13 years ago.
“Nothing’s impossible. As long as it’s based on football principles, why not? I get the impression that he’s been genuine about this and so has the club.”
Although Bolt may do some light running over the next couple of days, Tuesday will be his first official training session, coinciding with his 32nd birthday.
The post ‘For real’: World’s fastest man Usain Bolt touches down in Sydney for A-League trial appeared first on The New Daily.
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