- Usain Bolt is training with the Central Coast Mariners, an Australian A-League club
- The eight-time gold medalist is hoping to start a new chapter as a professional soccer player
- Does the sprinter have what it takes to make it in the Beautiful Game?
What is this, a crossover episode?!
Usain Bolt has traded in his spikes for a pair of cleats and gone to Australia with grand dreams of becoming a professional soccer player. The eight-time Olympic Gold medalist is currently training with the Central Coast Mariners, a club in Australia’s top flight A-League, and hopes to sign before the start of the 2018-19 season.
This isn’t the first time Bolt has trained with a professional club. He’s had brief stints at Borussia Dortmund, South Africa’s Mamelodi Sundowns, and Norway’s Strømsgodset. It didn’t work out at those clubs, but who knows, he might just be granted a shot with the Central Coast Mariners.
— Usain St. Leo Bolt (@usainbolt) August 21, 2018
Odds Usain Bolt Signs a Contract with the Mariners
|Bolt signs a contract with the Central Coast Mariners before the start of the 2018-19 season||2/1|
From the two training sessions we’ve seen from Bolt, it’s clear that he still has a long way to go. The Australian club has offered him an “indefinite training period”, so there’s no hard deadline for Bolt to meet. But if he wants to sign a contract before the 2018-19 season kicks off, he’ll need to impress the club by October 19th.
There’s no hard deadline for Bolt to meet, but if he wants to sign a contract before the 2018-19 season kicks off he’ll need to impress the club by October 19th.
Of course, this is more of a business move than a regular club signing. The A-League is desperate to drum up some excitement and signing a global brand like Usain Bolt will definitely boost ticket sales. The Mariners finished dead last in 2017-18, with only four wins over the entire season. Signing Bolt won’t do much to improve the squad, but at least it’ll give fans a reason to remain interested.
Odds Usain Bolt Scores a Goal in the A-League
|Bolt scores a goal in the 2018-19 A-League season||9/1|
He’s the fastest man in the world but he’s never played soccer at a professional level. So there’s only one way to play him, and that’s as a pure striker. Feed him through-balls past the back-line and watch him blow past the defenders.
That’s easier said than done, though, and the Mariners only scored 28 goals last season, the lowest in the league. We also don’t know how well Bolt can finish. Hell, we don’t even know if he’ll take to the field.
Odds Usain Bolt Signs with a Professional Soccer Team by 2021
|Bolt signs with a professional team by 2021||3/2|
Sooner or later, someone will sign him. If only for the sheer spectacle, fans with turn out in droves to see the 100 and 200-meter champ tear up and down the field. He just turned 32, so he needs to find a club soon.
2018-19 Mariners Betting Props
|Prop for the Mariners in 2018-19||Odds|
|Win the League Title||40/1|
|Win the Grand Final||25/1|
|Qualify for the Finals Series||5/1|
The Central Coast Mariners were the laughing stock of the A-League in 2017-18. They finished last, with just four wins. They held the records for longest losing run (six games), longest winless run (11 games), and they were on the wrong side of the highest scoring game (8-2).
They’ve made a few notable signings for 2018-19 and we should expect an improvement from last season. But it probably isn’t enough to compete with clubs like Sydney FC and Melbourne Victory.