Eight-time Olympic gold-medal winner Usain Bolt has ended a trial and parted ways with Australia’s Central Coast Mariners soccer outfit.
“Whilst we understand that Usain will not be part of the Club going forward, the Central Coast Mariners wish him all the best in his future endeavors and we hope that opportunities arise to collaborate in other capacities in the future,” Mariners owner Mike Charlesworth said in a statement
The 100- and 200-meter sprint world record-holder finished up a two-month stint down under without a contract, according to a statement from the club, which added that the split with the beloved Jamaican is amicable.
“Despite the fact that we could not come to an agreement that would continue Usain Bolt’s football journey with the Central Coast Mariners, we’ve been thrilled to have the Olympic champion sprinter and world record holder as part of our Club for these past eight weeks,” the Mariners owner explained. “Most notable, was his performance in Campbelltown where he scored two goals helping the Mariners secure a 4-0 win against Macarthur South West United.”
Australian local media reports that Bolt was offered a US$150,000-contract that did not guarantee the sprinter would be selected for A-League games.
“For the Mariners, it’s been a pleasure to work with Usain as he pursued his desire to become a professional football player,” Charlesworth added. “This has been a mutually beneficial partnership that brought an increased level of excitement and attention to both the Mariners and the Hyundai A-League. From day one, Usain dedicated himself to being part of the Mariners. He integrated very well into the team and made great strides as a footballer.”
The Mariners were unable to match a US$3-million one-season deal allegedly brokered by Bolt’s agent Ricky Simms, News Australia reported.
“I would like to thank the Central Coast Mariners owners, management, staff, players and fans for making me feel so welcome during my time there. I wish the club success for the season ahead,” 32-year-old Bolt commented on his departure from the soccer club.
Bolt retired from athletics in 2017 and previously trained with Borussia Dortmund, South Africa’s Mamelodi Sundowns and Norway's Stromsgodset.