Bolt officially joins A-League
THE World's fastest man is officially heading Down under, and not just for a holiday.
Usain Bolt is set to join the Central Coast Mariners later this month as part of a training deal, as first reported by The Daily Telegraph.
The deal doesn't provide Bolt with a guaranteed contract, but the hype and attention he'll attract should see him remain with the Mariners for an extended period of time.
"The Central Coast Mariners can today confirm that Usain Bolt has committed to an indefinite training period with the Club, with the aim to develop the 'world's fastest man' into a professional footballer," a club statement read.
"The agreement between the Central Coast Mariners and Usain Bolt does not guarantee a professional playing contract but does provide the eight-time Olympic gold medallist with an opportunity to achieve his burning desire to play football professionally."
Usain Bolt spoke of his excitement about the move to officially begin the challenge of becoming a professional footballer.
"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," Bolt said via the A-League website.
"I always say that 'anything is possible, don't think limits' and I look forward to the challenge."
Bolt has trained with Borussia Dortmund (Germany), Mamelodi Sundowns FC (South Africa) and Strømsgodset (Norway).
He is set to arrive in Gosford later this month when he'll be put through his paces with the club in the hopes of gaining a contract.
"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."
CEO Shaun Mielekamp says the club needs to be realistic about the trial but is optimistic about the benefits it 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, hopefully Usain can help us on this mission," Mielekamp said.
"We welcome Usain with open arms, and we will always remain grounded and focussed on the job at hand."
- with AAP