Usain Bolt Ends Central Coast Mariners Trial After Failing to Agree a Deal

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistNovember 2, 2018

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 12:  Usain Bolt of the Mariners looks on during the pre-season friendly match between the Central Coast Mariners and Macarthur South West United at Campbelltown Sports Stadium on October 12, 2018 in Sydney, Australia.  (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)
Matt King/Getty Images

Eight-time Olympic gold medallist Usain Bolt has left A-League side Central Coast Mariners after he failed to agree a deal with the club. 

Bolt was taking part in an "indefinite training period" with the club and made two friendly appearances for them, scoring twice.

However, the Mariners said that after they and Bolt's agent Ricky Simms held talks "with external partners to find a commercial solution that suits all parties," it became clear they "will not be able to settle on a suitable deal in a timely manner."

Bolt, 32, 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."

The Jamaican began training with the Australian club back in August and came on as a substitute for them in a friendly against a Central Coast Select XI.

Last month, he started against Macarthur South West United and scored twice:

Fox Sports' James Dodd was not particularly impressed by the sprinter, though:

It was a view shared by Perth Glory striker Andy Keogh, who described Bolt as having a touch "like a trampoline," per the Press Association's Alexander Britton (h/t MailOnline).

Despite doubts over his quality, the Mariners said all parties had "amicably concluded" that a deal would not be reached.

Mariners owner Mike Charlesworth wished Bolt well following the split:

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

"This has been a mutually beneficial partnership that brought an increased level of excitement and attention to both the Mariners and the Hyundai A-League. 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."

The Australian's Ray Gatt had predicted his trial would come to an end this way:

Bolt, who holds the world records in both the 100-metre and 200-metre sprint events, retired from the track in 2017 and spent time training with Borussia Dortmund in March and April of this year. 

Last month, Bolt turned down a two-year offer from Maltese club Valletta FC. With his time at the Mariners now over there may be other offers forthcoming, but having struggled to impress despite his two goals, his options aren't likely to be of a high level.

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