Usain Bolt could be living out his football dream with an ex-Sheffield United player

Usain Bolt's ambition to become a professional footballer has taken the legendary sprinter to Australia and, if the dream becomes a reality, he could end up working with a former Blade.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 17th July 2018, 9:18 pm
Updated Tuesday, 17th July 2018, 9:22 pm
Usain Bolt, pictured playing in Soccer Aid could be going on trial at Central Coast Mariners
Usain Bolt, pictured playing in Soccer Aid could be going on trial at Central Coast Mariners

Bolt has had discussions with Central Coast Mariners with a view towards having a trial with the A-League side.

Based 50 miles outside Sydney, Mariners have ex-Sheffield United skipper Nick Montgomery as their assistant coach alongside head coach Mike Mulvey.

Former Blade Nick Montgomery is assistant coach at Central Coast Mariners

Montgomery spent 14 years at United, playing in the Premier League, before leaving for Central Coast Mariners. He played 116 times in the A-League, before being named captain, and called time on his playing career in May last year.

Mariners announced on Tuesday that they were talking to Bolt - the world's fastest man during a glittering athletics career that yielded eight Olympic golds.

The Jamiacan, 32 next month and retired from the track, has never hid his ambitions to become a footballer and has previously trained with Borussia Dortmund and Stromsgodset.

The Mariners are the latest club willing to try to fulfill that goal, with a six-week trial in the offing.

"(Head coach) Mike Mulvey's perspective is that Usain would be treated like any other trialist that comes in," club CEO Shaun Mielekamp said.

"There can be no losers here. Usain can come and trial and if he's no good then they'll give him some good feedback to where he can improve.

"If he does come and perform then great. From the coach's perspective, there's only upshot here and opportunity."

Bolt is a huge Manchester United fan, although his ultimate hopes of wearing the red shirt appear somewhat slim. He did, however, play at Old Trafford as part of Soccer Aid last month.

"It's really been Usain's own personal drive and real ambition to get this to happen that's surprised everybody. So, it's really been about him becoming a professional footballer," Mielekamp added.

"That's why they've identified the Hyundai A-League is the best league for Usain.

"They've had offers from MLS and other leagues but the fit hasn't been there. It's either been too gimmicky or not at the level he wants."

Additional reporting: Press Association