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USAIN BOLT’S TRIAL WITH CENTRAL COAST MARINERS ENDS

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Usain Bolt, the eight-time Olympic gold medallist has ended his trial as a footballer at an Australian football club, the Central Coast Mariners.

The club announced on Friday morning through its verified twitter handle announced that it was parting ways with the 32-year-old, who was on an indefinite trial.

Bolt played 95 minutes for the A-League outfit in two trial games and scored twice against weak opposition, but appeared to find the transition from track to field tricky.

According to agency reports, Central Coast Mariners, Bolt and his agent Ricky Simms were trying to find a commercial deal but said they will not be “able to settle on a suitable deal in a timely manner”.

The Jamaican said: “I would like to thank the Central Coast Mariners owners, management, staff, players and fans for making me feel so welcome during my time there. I wish the club success for the season ahead.”

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Bolt’s brace came in a friendly against Macarthur South West United with on-loan strike partner Ross McCormack saying: “If he pulls it all together, he can be some threat”.

But former Republic of Ireland international Andy Keogh was less taken by Bolt, saying the sprint star had a first touch “like a trampoline”.

Central Coast Mariners owner Mike Charlesworth wished Bolt well for the future.

He said: “Despite the fact that we could not come to an agreement that would continue Usain Bolt’s football journey with the Central Coast Mariners, we’ve been thrilled to have the Olympic champion sprinter and world record holder as part of our club for these past eight weeks.

“For the Mariners, it’s been a pleasure to work with Usain as he pursued his desire to become a professional football player.

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“From day one, Usain dedicated himself to being part of the Mariners. He integrated very well into the team and made great strides as a footballer.

“Most notable, was his performance in Campbelltown where he scored two goals helping the Mariners secure a 4-0 win against Macarthur South West United.

“Whilst we understand that Usain will not be part of the club going forward, the Central Coast Mariners wish him all the best in his future endeavours and we hope that opportunities arise to collaborate in other capacities in the future.”

 

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Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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