Eight-time Olympic gold medalist, Usain Bolt, is leaving the track for a new career in football, and his agent has confirmed he's agreed to an “in principle” deal with the Central Coast Mariners.
Usain Bolt has trialled with Germany’s Borussia Dortmund and Norway’s Stromsgodset. But after the Dortmund trial in March, head coach Peter Stroger said he had a lot more work to do is he wanted to play in Europe professionally.
Perhaps the Australian A-League is a slightly more appropriate marriage.
Bolt is locked in to a six-week trial with the Mariners next month with the prospect of a season-long deal if he makes the cut.
Tony Rallis, Bolt’s agent, told Big Sports breakfast, “He will create dreams for young people and he will give the A-league a profile no amount of money can buy.”
It was reported, in the ABC, that several A-League clubs showed interest in Bolt’s ambition to play professional soccer but it was The Mariners that won his attention, with News Corp reporting that a “multi-million dollar” deal could be on the cards.
Tony Rallis told Sky Sports Radio, “The owner of Central Coast Mariners has put his hand deep in his pocket and guaranteed 70 percent of the salary.”
The BBC reports that a Football Federal Australia spokesman said it would not assist in funding Bolt’s trial.
Central Coast Mariners CEO, Shaun Mielekamp, told the Seven News Network, “The most important thing is we wait to find out and see how good a footballer he is first. Time will tell what level he is at and if it fits the A League.”
Although his incredible genes, fast twitch muscle fibres and lung capacity have helped develop one of the greatest sprinters of our time, the finesse that comes with years of gruelling repetition in professional football players seems a stretch, but time will tell.
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