World famous sprinter and Olympic gold medalist spoke with news.com.au recently and admitted that he was struggling to keep up with the hard training regimen of professional football.
The Lightning Bolt retired from sprinting after the 2017 World Championships when he finished third in his last solo 100m race.
Since then, people have been speculating if he would begin another sports journey in a different field since he always wanted to be a fast bowler before he decided to go with athletics.
He is also a fan of Premier League football club Manchester United and has expressed his desire in the past to play for the club one day.
His football dream progressed a step forward when he was contacted by Australia’s A-League football club Central Coast Mariners.
The eight-time Olympic champion trained with the rest of the squad at a more intensive session at the team’s base in the town of Gosford, 75 kilometres north of Sydney, on Tuesday.
After some warming up and a jog around the pitch, he took part in ball drills and while his passing was fine, he was slow to get the hang of the movement required.
The 32-year old’s lack of football fitness was also evident as he seemed to tire quicker than his teammates and resting in intervals.
Bolt admitted to struggling with the constant stop-start of football, more used to a quick-fire sprint on the athletics track before winding down.
“The most challenging thing for me is the stop and go because I’m not used to picking up speed, going back down, then back again,” he said.
“It’s all about practising and getting used to the system. I have time so will just learn the ways and keep pushing.”
The Mariners hope to bring Bolt in shape in time for the start of the 2018/19 season in late October, with the club saying he can stay indefinitely to prove his documentation and earn a playing contract.
They have a pre-season friendly on Friday against an amateur side and Bolt is expected to get his expected to play as a substitute.
“I imagine he’ll get some minutes on Friday,” said club coach Mike Mulvey, conscious that thousands of fans are set to turn up and with the match due to be broadcast live on pay-TV.
He said the Jamaican was “doing OK”.
“The things we are asking him to do are things that he hasn’t done for quite some years,” he added.
“He has played football as an athlete in between athletic meets so he has rudimentary skills. There’s no problem with that. It’s about being able to do it at the speed that we do it. It takes time to adjust.”
He remains the world record holder for 100 metres.
Bolt said he was seeing slow improvements in his game.
“For me, it’s about just getting fit and as many touches of the ball that I can. The more I play the more comfortable I get,” he said.
“It’s all about being focused, taking my time and being smart and pushing myself to get to the level I need to be at to be in the starting XI.”
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