Former Olympic sprint champion Usain Bolt has been offered a professional football contract by Australian A-League side Central Coast Mariners, with the 32-year-old having impressed during his recent trial period with the club. Despite the Mariners having so far not commented on such reports, Bolt’s agent Ricky Simms has confirmed the news, stating “I can confirm Usain has been offered a contract by Central Coast Mariners”.
Eight-time Olympic champion Bolt scored two goals on his first start for the Central Coast Mariners during a friendly fixture, however he missed out on a place in their squad for the opening game of the A-League season, a match which ended in a 1-1 draw against the Brisbane Roar. Bolt had recently turned down a contract from Maltese champions Valletta FC, having previously trained with the likes of Borussia Dortmund, Sundowns and Stromsgodset following his retirement from athletics. Bolt was offered odds of 18/1 by bookmaker Ladbrokes (odds by www.online-sportwette.net) to sign for Manchester United back in February this year, the club in which the Jamaican supports, however appearances in the A-League now look far more likely.
It remains to be seen as to whether Bolt will accept the offer reportedly made by the Mariners, with some outlets reporting that the A-League side are looking for a cut-price deal due to their doubts over whether the former sprinter can cut it at such a level. Bolt has already brought a significant amount of attention to the Mariners, a side who finished bottom of the A-League standings last season, however Head Coach Mike Mulvey recently stated that he was not concerned about Bolt, focusing instead on the players available to him at the time.
Should Bolt accept the offer from the Mariners, he could even be in line for his professional debut on Saturday morning when they take on Melbourne City FC at the Central Coast Stadium, where the home side are the 3/1 outsiders for victory with bookmaker BoyleSports. Having won both the 100m and 200m sprint titles during his time, Bolt would certainly offer the Mariners something a little different, with a potential attacking partnership with former Aston Villa man Ross McCormack likely to excite fans.