Usain Bolt Joins Central Coast Mariners for 'Indefinite Training Period'

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistAugust 7, 2018

NANTERRE, FRANCE - JUNE 12:  Usain Bolt of FIFA 98 reacts during the Friendly match between France 98 and FIFA 98 at U Arena on June 12, 2018 in Nanterre near Paris, France.  (Photo by Xavier Laine/Getty Images)
Xavier Laine/Getty Images

Former sprinting star Usain Bolt has joined A-League side Central Coast Mariners for an "indefinite training period."

The club announced the Jamaican's arrival on Tuesday:

Central Coast Mariners @CCMariners

We’re set to welcome @usainbolt to @CCMariners for an indefinite training period. Let’s hear from the world’s fastest man. Read more ⚡ https://t.co/kOtlPUPWz8 #CCMFC https://t.co/LsSxYLSbhl

Bolt has previously trained with Borussia Dortmund, Mamelodi Sundowns FC and Stromsgodset as he looks to embark on a professional football career at the age of 31, following his retirement from sprinting last year.

In a statement on the Mariners' official website, the club said their agreement with Bolt "does not guarantee a professional playing contract," but they hope to help him fulfil his ambition of playing the sport at a professional level.

Bolt said of the move:

"I am very excited about coming to Australia and would like to thank the owner and management of the Central Coast Mariners for giving me this opportunity.

"It has been my dream to play professional football and I know that it will involve a lot of hard work and training to get to the level required to play and make an impact in the A-League.

"When I spoke to the Head Coach Mike Mulvey on the phone he outlined the ambitions of the club and his plans for the upcoming season. I hope I can make a positive contribution to the club and look forward to meeting the other players, staff and fans in the coming weeks.

"I always say that 'anything is possible, don't think limits' and I look forward to the challenge."

Bolt also featured in a charity match for Soccer Aid in June as a forward:

Usain St. Leo Bolt @usainbolt

Man of the match @socceraid @Hublot 🙌🏽🙌🏽 https://t.co/iSv9LrzrfH

He'll arrive in Australia for training on August 18.

Fox Sports Australia's Daniel Garb gave his take on the move:

Daniel Garb @DanielGarb

Let's just hope the Mariners treat this like a proper trial. If he's not up to it after a week (which I very much doubt he will be) say thank you, move him on and give the chance to an actual footballer.

The track star won gold in the men's 100 metres, 200 metres and 4x100-metre relay at the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games, though the relay gold from 2008 was stripped from him last year after team-mate Nesta Carter's doping sample failed a retest.

He also won 11 World Championship gold medals and holds the world records for the 100-metre and 200-metre sprints, having set both in Berlin in 2009.

It's evident Bolt will have the pace to terrorise defenders, but he'll need to show he has the technical ability and footballing nous to go with it if he's to make it as a professional.