Olympic legend, Usain Bolt, will be welcomed “with open arms” by staff, players and management of Australian league side, Central Coast Mariners, as he joins them even though it is without a professional contract.
This is according to Chief Executive at Central Coast Mariners, Shaun Mielekamp
The eight-time Olympic champion and world record holder in the 100m and 200m, who retired from athletics in 2017, looks forward to a startling football career, having trained with Borussia Dortmund, Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa and Stromsgodset of Norway.
“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,” said Bolt.
“It has been my dream to play professional football and 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.
“I hope I can make a positive contribution to the club and look forward to meeting the other players, staff and fans in the coming weeks.”
“I always say that ‘anything is possible, don’t think limits’ and I look forward to the challenge,” the 31-year-old Jamaican added.
Mielekamp expresses belief in Bolt and says his joining forms part of the club’s philosophy
“We welcome Usain with open arms, and we will always remain grounded and focussed on the job at hand. I also look forward to seeing the Central Coast catching the attention of sports lovers all over the world. Sports lovers who will join us and dare to dream, sports lovers who truly believe that only those who are brave enough to try and do the impossible are capable of achieving anything,” Mielekamp said.
He added: “Our goal is to be the most innovative, entertaining and community minded sports brand in Australia, this is our competitive edge.
“Having Usain Bolt come to the club to train and hopefully develop into a professional football player is perfectly aligned to this part of the club’s philosophy.
“It is important that we don’t get too caught up in the hype of possibilities, but the reality is that Usain Bolt has placed his faith in the Central Coast Mariners to accelerate his football journey.
“Whilst we all know this must be tempered with the reality that there is a job to do and hard work ahead, we are committed to building a team that will win matches and instil belief. Hopefully Usain can help us on this mission.”