Won’t make decision on Usain Bolt until January, says Mariners coach

Former Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt, who recently joined A-League club Central Coast Mariners to pursue his dream of playing football, is happy with his progress following two appearances for the Central Coast Mariners in Australia.

However, Central Coast Mariners coach Mike Mulvey on Thursday said that he will wait until January before assessing the progress of eight-time Olympic gold medalist sprinter Bolt, who’s set to play in his next pre-season match for the Mariners in mid-October.

Bolt, who is on trial in Australia, is attempting to earn a contract at A-League side the Mariners so that he can showcase his ability when Central Coast face Macarthur South West United on October 12.

“I’m definitely excited and if I get to start it will be a big thing for me,” the official website of the club quotes Bolt.

“It would show that the work that I’ve been putting in is really paying off and the coach has confidence in me – so that would be a big step for me. Playing 45 minutes for me [against North Shore] was good, in the last 10 minutes I started to get tired but I pushed through and that’s because of training. I feel like I’m improving. My touch is getting better, I’ve got a while to go but with more training and more dedication to my craft, I will be fine. Getting more minutes in games is the aim. I think that’s the aim for any football player, you want to play as much as you can. For me, I am really looking forward to October 12th and like always, going out there and doing my best. Hopefully, my best is good enough.”

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“For me to score, it would be a big thing. The Central Coast Mariners took a chance on me and the best way that I can pay them back is to score goals. If I could score a goal for this club, that would mean I am heading in the right direction and showing the club that their chance in me is paying off. It would take a lot of pressure off me, as an attacker, it’s something that would be good but for me, I am just going to work, push myself and hope everything comes together when it matters,” Bolt added.

Further, Mariners coach added, “Usain is progressing and that’s the main thing. From the outset, we said he needed time, we said we would give him 12 months if need be. A reasonable assumption would be that around January we should be judging where he’s at. We’re going to be ramping up our individual sessions with him over the next few weeks, so he will be given every opportunity.”

The 32-year-old former athlete made his debut for the Mariners earlier last month and appeared again on Tuesday – playing 45 minutes in a behind-closed-doors friendly against North Shore Mariners.


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