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'Not A Gimmick' - Usain Bolt Considering Offer From Australian Team

'Not A Gimmick' - Usain Bolt Considering Offer From Australian Team
By PJ Browne
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Usain Bolt is considering an offer from Australian A-League side Central Coast Mariners.

Speaking to Australian broadcaster Channel Seven, Mariners chief executive Shaun Mielekamp said that Bolt has been offered a six-week trial at the club.

"We've been working for about four or five months on this and every day it got a little bit closer," said Mielekamp. Negotiations have been going considerably slower than Bolt did on the track.


"It's a little bit surreal but we've still got a little bit of work to do. Fingers crossed, things might play out. The most important thing is that we find a way to find out how good he is as a footballer first."


Bolt's agent Tony Rallis told Australian radio show Big Sports Breakfast that a deal has been agreed in principle. According to Channel Seven, Bolt will put pen to paper on a year-long contract if the trial works out.

The 31-year-old Jamaican, an eight-time Olympic gold medalist, retired from athletics last year following the World Championships in London.

He has since taken part in trials with Borussia Dortmund and Norwegian side Stromsgodset. Mielekamp said reports from those trials have been positive.


Reports saying everytime he plays, he improves significantly - he's a really fast learner. He's got a very good left foot.

This is a very real football opportunity, this is not a stunt or gimmick — we want to know if Usain can play.

If all goes well, who knows, he might be lighting up the A-League this season.

From our perspective, it would only be big if he can play and it goes really well. That's why the trial is really important because if he comes and he's not up to the level, then it actually has a detrimental effect. If he comes and is as good as our reports are saying that he can be then that would be exciting and I'm sure this stadium would be pretty full every time he puts boots on.

Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

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