Usain Bolt handed opportunity by Central Coast Mariners

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Eight golds - and a spate of world records - made him the greatest sprinter in history when he retired soon after the 2017 world championships.

"Having Usain Bolt come to the club to train and hopefully develop into a professional football player is perfectly aligned to this part of the club's philosophy".

The Mariners had to work hard to secure Bolt: As recently as two weeks ago there were reports he was in talks with a U.S. club who was willing to offer him a contract without a trial period.

Bolt, who retired from athletics past year following the World Championships in London, has previously trained with Borussia Dortmund, Norwegian team Strømsgodset and South African side Mamelodi Sundowns FC.

Usain Bolt's readiness to play will be assessed before he suits up for the Mariners.

"I'm looking forward to the opportunities to prove that with hard work anything is possible".

Bolt is expected to head down to begin training with the Australian A-league team later this month, the Central Coast Mariners website said.

While the club notes "The agreement. does not guarantee a professional playing contract but does provide the eight-time Olympic gold medallist with an opportunity to achieve his burning desire to play football professionally".

Mariners chief executive Shaun Mielekamp said he had contacted the clubs for which Bolt had trialed and received positive feedback on his ability.

Mielekamp didn't rule out the possibility of Central Coast fielding Bolt in a pre-season friendly if he is deemed fit enough to play. "Whilst we all know this must be tempered with the reality that there is a job to do and hard work ahead, we are committed to building a team that will win matches and instill belief". Silva said that while the Central Coast Mariners were offering Bolt more money, the Austin BOLD FC could get him ready for the big leagues.

"Hopefully Usain can help us on this mission".

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