Usain Bolt to make run at pro soccer in Australia

FILE - In this Tuesday, June 12, 2018, file photo, former Olympic and Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt controls the ball during a charity soccer match between members of the 1998 World Cup winning French team and a team of international veteran players who were also involved in the same tournament, at the U Arena in Nanterre, north of Paris, France. Bolt is making a run at professional soccer in Australia. Now, at 31, he will try out for six weeks with the Central Coast Mariners starting next month. If all goes well, he could play for a season in Australia's A-League. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus, File)

Trading spikes for boots, Usain Bolt ready to make run at pro soccer in Australia

SYDNEY — Usain Bolt is making a run at professional soccer in Australia.

The Olympic sprint great has long expressed his love of the game. Since his retirement from track, he has tested himself with Germany's Borussia Dortmund and the Norwegian club Stromsgodset.

Now, at 31, he will try out for six weeks with the Central Coast Mariners starting next month. If all goes well, he could play for a season in Australia's A-League.

Australian agent Tony Rallis said Monday the Mariners and Bolt have a deal in principle, "subject to a couple of benchmarks."

Rallis said the eight-time Olympic gold medalist would have to go through a tryout, and the Football Federation Australia would have to support his salary.

"Once the FFA comes back and says that they'll be part of the process, we're going to the trial," Rallis said.

The agent said the Mariners would guarantee 70 percent of his salary and the FFA would be expected to pay the rest.

"If he's competitive, he will lift our A-League profile," Rallis said. "He will create dreams for young people and he will give the A-League a profile no amount of money can buy. This bloke's an ambitious athlete. The A-League needed a hero and we got superman."

Mariners chief executive Shaun Mielekamp said there is still a lot of work to do, and the tryout is essential in determining the skill of the 6-foot-5 Jamaican.

"It would only be big if he can play and if he can go really, really well," he said. "Because if he comes and he's not up to the level then it actually has a detrimental effect.

"But if he comes and he's as good as our reports are saying that he can be, then that would be very exciting and I'm sure that this stadium would be pretty full every time he put the boots on."

You may also like these

Foley back at flyhalf for Australia, Pumas make 7...

Oct 4, 2018

Bernard Foley has been recalled to the starting lineup at flyhalf for Australia's final Rugby...

Boca, River draw 2-2 in first leg of Libertadores...

Nov 11, 2018

Boca Juniors and River Plate drew 2-2 Sunday in the delayed first leg of the Copa Libertadores final

Emotional funeral for Sala held in his Argentine...

Feb 16, 2019

Family, friends, supporters and former teammates paid tribute to striker Emiliano Sala in his...

Dual international Brad Thorn to coach Reds in...

Oct 5, 2017

Brad Thorn replaces Nick Styles as Queensland Reds Super Rugby coach

Australia coach's future uncertain ahead of...

Oct 11, 2017

Football Federation Australia says it is awaiting confirmation of dates for the Socceroos' matches...

Sign up now!