Usain Bolt set for A-League trial with Central Coast Mariners
Usain Bolt will link up with Central Coast Mariners for an "indefinite training period" as he attempts to realise his dream of becoming a professional footballer.
The A-League club confirmed that Bolt, an eight-time Olympic athletics gold medallist, will arrive in Gosford on Aug. 18 and is then set to start training on Aug. 21.
"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," he said in a statement.
The agreement does not guarantee Bolt a playing contract but gives him the chance to chase the opportunity of a start with the Mariners.
They become the fourth club that he has tried out for in an effort to make it in the game, following spells in Germany, Norway and South Africa.
"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," Bolt said.
"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.
"I always say that anything is possible, don't think limits, and I look forward to the challenge."
Mariners CEO Shaun Mielekamp said the club needed to be realistic but was optimistic about the benefits the trial spell could bring.
"It is important that we don't get too caught up in the hype of possibilities, but we are committed to building a team that will win matches and instil belief, and hopefully Usain can help us on this mission," he said.
"We welcome Usain with open arms, and we will always remain grounded and focused on the job at hand."