Usain Bolt was coy about calling himself an expert footballer after a two-goal efficiency in his maiden begin for Central Coast Mariners on Friday.
The cries for the eight-time Olympic champion sprinter to be supplied a contract are rising after the spectacular show. But whereas Bolt is happy together with his enchancment within the sport, he refused to label himself a professional simply but.
“Till I signal, I’m not saying that,” Bolt stated after the match. “After we will sit down with the membership, we’ll sit down and focus on that if we need to transfer ahead and what I have to do and the way we are able to do it.
“I am taking it one step at a time. I am right here to show to the world that I is usually a footballer and I can push myself and see how far I can go. I will all the time give time to the Mariners for giving me the chance to show myself to the world. I am simply excited to take it step-by-step and transfer ahead.”
The followers at Campbelltown Stadium in Sydney’s southwest could not get sufficient of the celebrity of their midst. And after making an exit shortly after the 70-minute mark, Bolt spent the remainder of the evening signing autographs and posing for photographs with delighted supporters.
Bolt’s opening aim has garnered worldwide consideration, repaying the Central Coast membership for taking the gamble on bringing the celeb trialist to Australia.
Mariners CEO Shaun Mielekamp was understandably thrilled with the end result of the preseason pleasant match however stated it will not change the method.
“Tonight simply places extra consideration on the dialogue we might have already got had. It was all the time a part of this system to have him play this sport, and we’ll maintain speaking the way in which we’ve been the entire time,” Mielekamp advised ESPN.
“We have now genuinely handled Usain like we might have another trialist. He is been coaching laborious with us, and tonight he confirmed weaknesses, however he additionally confirmed his strengths and received two targets, so all credit score to him. Whether or not it sways the end result — it is too early to inform.
“We are going to now liaise closely with our sporting director Mike Phelan who’s due again within the nation shortly.”
Mielekamp was additionally fast to heap reward on his employees.
“I need to give an enormous quantity of credit score to [head coach] Mike Mulvey, to [assistant coaches] Nick Montgomery, Ray Junna, and everybody who put within the further bits to get him to this stage. The folks right here believed and had been open-minded sufficient to provide it a go. Having stated that, Usain was the one who needed to put it behind the web.”
Whereas Mielekamp harassed that the first focus for the membership is getting the principle group to Brisbane subsequent weekend for the opening match of the season, he is additionally taking time to benefit from the highlight Bolt has positioned on his membership.
“Personally, the primary time I heard his identify talked about, I used to be pinching myself and considering, ‘I can not imagine that is occurring,’ and it simply retains going. You have to create moments for historical past to be made, and that is what has occurred — possibly 10 years from now I will look again and suppose I can not imagine that occurred, however truthfully, I can barely imagine it now!”