Usain Bolt in the running to join Australian football teamJuly 18, 2018
The Olympic sprinting champion follows his dream of playing professional football with the A-League’s Central Coast Mariners.
By Lucia Binding, news reporter
Usain Bolt is in talks for a six-week trial to play football in Australia, his agent has said.
The eight-time Olympic gold medallist will start with the Central Coast Mariners from next month in a deal which could see him play for a season in Australia’s A-League.
His football agent, Tony Rallis, said a “deal between the Mariners and Usain Bolt in principle has been agreed”.
He added that the 31-year-old would be required to trial and that Football Federation Australia (FFA) should support his salary.
Bolt, who is widely considered to be the greatest sprinter of all time, has long had an ambition to play professional football.
Since retiring from the track in 2017, the Jamaican athlete has trialled with Germany’s Borussia Dortmund and Norway’s Stromsgodset teams.
Mr Rallis said: “If he’s competitive, he will lift our A-League profile.
“He will create dreams for young people and he will give the A-League a profile no amount of money can buy.
“This bloke’s an ambitious athlete. The A-League needed a hero and we got superman.”
Mr Rallis said the owner of the Mariners would guarantee 70% of Bolt’s salary – with the FFA expected to fund the remainder.
“Once the FFA comes back and says that they’ll be part of the process, we’re going to the trial,” he said.
Bolt – who earned the nickname of “Lightning Bolt” in the media – played for Stromsgodset as a forward in a friendly match against the Norway national under-19 football team in June.
He expressed a desire to play for Manchester United if given a chance, saying it “would be like a dream come true” in an interview with The Guardian.
Cricket was the first sport to interest Bolt, and he has previously said that he would probably have been a fast bowler if he had not pursued sprinting.
© 2018 Sky UK