Nobody knows how many hours of training Sprint superstar Usain Bolt has already completed. Now, however, he sweated for the first time at the Mariners, a professional football club in Australia. And that on a very special day.
Sydney – More than a hundred reporters and cameramen were waiting, some TV stations broadcast live from the edge of the pitch. Usain Bolt, wearing black gloves and a tracksuit with long trousers, entered the field of the Australian first division football team Central Coast Mariners on Tuesday. On his 32nd birthday, the eight-time Olympic sprint champion raised both his thumbs to greet the crowd, with a big grin on his face as he used to on his career.
As a birthday present and welcome greeting for the fastest man in the world, the club had its emblem painted on the lawn of the 20,000 spectator stadium in Gosford – a town of 160,000 inhabitants about 75 kilometres north of Sydney – its distinctive mark: Bolts Blitz. The world record holder over 100 and 200 metres did a few laps with his team mates, played a few balls – but he was also repeatedly bounced by one or two of them.
“I completely left my comfort zone.”
“The first day of training is always the hardest. It’s like in athletics,” said Bolt after his premiere. On his PR-prone tour around the world, the Jamaican has now landed in Australia after stops at Borussia Dortmund, Norway and South Africa. Will his career on the grass really be a success after his career on the track? In a good mood, the 32-year-old reported on offers from underclass leagues in France and Spain. But he doesn’t want to learn a new language either. To read Coin Falls Casino’s review, check them out!
“I have completely left my comfort zone. But that’s why I’m here,” said Bolt. “The first hurdle is now to get a contract. The Australian A-League season with its ten clubs starts in October. The first time Bolt could be used in a test match on 31 August. According to the official language regulations, the test phase will initially run “indefinitely”.
Nick Montgomery Honours
Central Coast Mariners
- A-League Championship: 2012–13
- Sheffield United F.C. Player of the Year: 2009–10
“He has a lot to lose”
Opinions about Bolt’s footballing ambitions and abilities also differ in Australia. With his “will and determination”, Bolt could surprise many, said former Mariners captain and assistant coach Nick Montgomery. “For me, that’s more important than the talent that talented players bring. I’ve seen it many times.”
Bolt has the best of both worlds: a world-class athlete with the hunger of a teenager who wants to become a football professional. “That’s certainly not a joke for him. He has a lot to lose. Time will tell what’s really inside him,” Montgomery said.
The Mariners are one of the smaller clubs in the A-League, were champions in the 2012/13 season. Last season, however, they finished last in the standings. They won only four of the 27 most recent games. But there is no relegation in the A-League.
Some experts think the Super Sprinter’s trip to the football pitches is just a marketing idea. It can be seen on videos that his skills on the ball are clearly lagging behind his speed. However, the Jamaican claims to want to make his “lifelong dream of professional football” come true.
In addition, the club and the Australian Football Association (FFA) have some hopes for the prominent guest star. Player advisor Tony Rallis said: “Bolt will give the A-League a profile that no money in the world can buy. This guy is an ambitious athlete. The A-League needed a hero and we got Superman.” The only question now is whether Superman can handle the ball well enough.