SYDNEY, Australia, (CMC) – Eight-time Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt’s dream to become a professional footballer could soon become a reality after he negotiated an “indefinite training period” with Central Coast Mariners in Australia’s A-League.
Since retiring from athletics in 2017, Bolt, who holds the 100m and 200m world records, has publicly declared that he would like to play football professionally.
The Mariners said the agreement does not guarantee Bolt a professional contract, but it does give him the opportunity.
“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,” the 31-year-old Bolt said in a statement released by the Mariners yesterday.
“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 has already tried to play with clubs in Germany and South Africa, albeit unsuccessfully.
While some critics have regarded speculation of his latest attempt in Australia as a public relations stunt, Mariners chief executive Shaun Mielekamp said he is optimistic about Bolt’s opportunity.
“I always say that ‘Anything is possible, don’t think limits,’ and I look forward to the challenge,” said Bolt, who is set to travel to Gosford, north of Sydney, this month to join the squad for practice.
The A-League season opens in October.