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Bolt’s Australian football dream collapses

Updated November 03, 2018

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Usain Bolt. — File Photo
Usain Bolt. — File Photo

GOSFORD: Usain Bolt’s bid to become a professional footballer in Australia has ended with the Olympic sprinting great failing to agree on a contract with the Central Coast Mariners.

The Mariners announced Friday that Bolt’s indefinite training period with the club “has drawn to an end, effective immediately.”

The Mariners reportedly offered Bolt a contract worth 150,000 Australian dollars ($110,000) and hoped to get a third-party endorsement to increase the salary package into the millions, but management for the eight-time Olympic gold medalist rejected the offer.

The Jamaican’s mission to secure a professional contract in Australia at the age of 32 dominated pre-season and proved a marketing boost for the sleepy Central Coast region north of Sydney.

However, his performances in training and trial matches over the last two months did little to remove doubts about the eight-time Olympic gold medallist’s chances of making the grade.

The 100m world record holder, who retired from athletics last year and has previously tried out with clubs in Germany, South Africa and Norway, practiced with the Mariners squad in September and October but only played in some low-level, non-league matches.

He stopped practicing with the club’s top team when contract negotiations intensified immediately before the A-League season started.

Published in Dawn, November 3rd, 2018

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