Usain Bolt makes football debut in Australia

- Advertisement -

Usain Bolt believes he will be “up and running at speed” within a month after making his professional football debut in Australia in a 6-1 pre-season friendly win.

The 32-year-old former sprinter was drafted into the Central Coast Mariners’ attack with 20 minutes left to play and with the outcome already beyond doubt.

After the match, he said: “I think the first 15 was pretty good, the last five I could feel my back getting a little bit tight.

Usain Bolt
Usain Bolt was named among the substitutes in Gosford (Steve Christo/AP)

“I think probably in the next month I should be up and running at speed.”

Asked about which aspects of his game he needs to improve on, Bolt said: “I think moving off the ball, knowing and understanding where to be when the ball is played to the wing.

“It’s all about the movement, I personally think.

“In four months’ time, I’ll be fit, be getting a lot more time on the ball. I personally feel I will get a contract by then, I will be playing for much more time.

“I feel like that with track and field, it’s not that rough on your body.

“We don’t have a lot of contact so I don’t think it’s hard on my body.

Australia Soccer Usain Bolt
Usain Bolt enjoyed plenty of time on the ball (Steve Christo/AP)

The Central Coast Stadium – which hosted an average of 7,500 fans per game in the last A-League season – had 9,958 through the gate for the Jamaican’s first Mariners match.

And the interest in the potential debut for the world’s fastest man was not confined to the ground, with the match broadcast in 40 countries.

Sporting bright orange boots and gloves on a cold Friday night in Gosford, Bolt was ordered to stretch his legs twice in the first half – with one lucky fan getting a high-five as he made his way back to the bench.

Bolt chose to wear the number 95 for the game against the select XI – an obvious nod to his world record 9.58 100m record.

And the tracksuit came off late in the second half as Bolt’s entrance delighted the Central Coast Stadium crowd.

Head coach Mike Mulvey said: “I thought the big fella did okay. He’s a confident guy.

“The game changed a lot in the second half, we scored a lot of goals in the first half and they dropped a lot deeper, so there was no space in behind.

“It was a good exercise. He was on a hiding to nothing, he was a little bit nervous, but I’m quite happy with him.”

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Latest Stories

- Advertisement -

UK News

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Read the latest free supplements

Read the Town Crier, Le Rocher and a whole host of other subjects like mortgage advice, business, cycling, travel and property.