Usain Bolts From Mariners, And This Time It's For Good
Usain Bolt has left the building.
It was fun while it lasted but the eight-time Olympic gold medallist has left the Central Coast Mariners, effective immediately.
The Mariners issued a statement today which in part read:
"The Central Coast Mariners and Usain Bolt’s representative Ricky Simms can today advise that the indefinite training period of Usain Bolt with the Mariners has drawn to an end, effective immediately.
"As previously stated, the Club and Ricky Simms have been in conversations with external partners to find a commercial solution that suits all parties.
"Despite several promising potential partners, both Bolt & the Central Coast Mariners have amicably concluded that they will not be able to settle on a suitable deal in a timely manner."
The 32-year-old Jamaican thanked the Central Coast Mariners for the opportunity to almost, nearly, sort of but never quite really become a professional footballer.
"I would like to thank the Central Coast Mariners owners, management, staff, players and fans for making me feel so welcome during my time there. I wish the club success for the season ahead,” he said.
Mariners owner Mike Charlesworth said it had been thrilling to have Bolt along for the ride, and added it had been "a pleasure to work with Usain as he pursued his desire to become a professional football player".
The best we saw of Bolt?
As Charlesworth pointed out, it was his performance in Campbelltown where he scored two goals to help the Mariners win 4-0 against Macarthur South West United -- a team comprised of semi-professional players.
Bolt's first goal that day demonstrated both pace and skill. For a moment there you thought he really might make it.
His second was more a case of defensive error. But hey, he helped make it happen with that big imposing 195 cm frame of his.
It wasn't enough, though. Sprinter, not footballer. That's the bottom line. Just like Michael Jordan was a basketballer not a baseballer.
What next for Bolt?
It's unclear for now. It's well known that he loves Australia and Australians, and that he's also partial to a spot of cricket. Don't rule out a celebrity Big Bash appearance.
Perhaps more likely at this stage is that a cashed-up football club in need of publicity courts him. That's what happened when Maltese club Valletta FC made him an offer recently.