Usain Bolt at his first training session with the Central Coast Mariners on Tuesday. Picture: Getty Images
Usain Bolt at his first training session with the Central Coast Mariners on Tuesday. Picture: Getty Images

Bolt happy to be chasing his dream

USAIN Bolt, with one of his final touches on day one, duffed a kick so badly it took a great divot of turf.

Truly, think a sand bucket being required.

But with none available at Central Coast Stadium, the big fella simply threw back his head, threw out his arms … then knelt all 6' 5'' of Olympic greatness down onto the turf as, with one hand, he retrieved said chunk and patted it back into place.

So is Usain St Leo Bolt good enough for the A-League?

On that, the jury is still out.

But understand, this is no joke.

For why on earth would the fastest man in that same realm, and arguably the greatest athlete who ever lived, want to spend his life replacing divots in Gosford - a town whose most famous resident, until last Saturday morning, was a yellow dinosaur made of concrete?

At 32, Bolt has everything a man needs.

 

Usain Bolt at his first training session with the Central Coast Mariners on Tuesday. Picture: Getty Images
Usain Bolt at his first training session with the Central Coast Mariners on Tuesday. Picture: Getty Images

 

Ferraris, sports bar, yacht, even an adopted Kenyan cheetah.

So if this really were just one big A-League gimmick … well, what's in it for him?

Certainly the Jamaican millionaire doesn't need cash. Nor the publicity.

And last we heard, a Mariners tracksuit is hardly required when it comes to attracting female interest.

So c'mon Usain, with everything you've achieved, and everything you posses, why risk failure - and potential embarrassment - to play for a club whose biggest signing in recent years has been a couple of inflatable sauce bottles?

"Because it's something I want," Bolt says simply. "For me, football has always been a passion.

"Even when my (athletic) coach was saying don't be playing football, you can't be playing football at the end of the season, I still would play.

"It's something I enjoy. A challenge.

 

Usain Bolt strides out at Central Coast Mariners training on Tuesday. Picture: AAP
Usain Bolt strides out at Central Coast Mariners training on Tuesday. Picture: AAP

 

"And that's how I always rise to my best, when I challenge myself."

But is he good enough?

Sadly, Bolt's first training run on Tuesday - where he did little but stretch, pass a few times, then stretch again - gave nothing away.

Yes, the wannabe winger duffed one pass. Badly.

Just as he had a couple of decent, if limited, touches.

Still, this was a session for the cameras as the only Mariner wearing tracksuit pants and gloves proved the Coast's most anticipated arrival since Mark Geyer donned a Umina Bunnies jersey, or Dieter Brummer spun discs at Club Troppo.

And who can hate on the Manchester United fan for having a crack?

Remembering that Indian cricket great Sachin Tendulkar so loved tennis as a child, he asked to be called 'McEnroe'. And world surfing champ Kelly Slater, even now, talks of joining the seniors golf tour.

For just as millionaire businessmen keep turning up to work, so champion athletes wake each day looking for new goals.

Which is why, in March, Bolt trialled with Germany's Borussia Dortmund. Then last month, Norwegian club Stromsgodset.

All of which brought plenty of publicity, but no contract.

Which is why Bolt finds himself now training in a stadium built for a rugby league team that doesn't exist. And for a footy club that, put simply, he could likely afford to buy outright.

But where it ends up?

"I don't know," Bolt smiles. "But I daydream.

"I daydream all the time about big things.

"And one of the biggest is to play with Manchester United. Even one game, five games … I don't think you can get bigger than that."

 

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