Usain Bolt will be working off a clean slate when he begins his Central Coast Mariners trial with coach Mike Mulvey admitting he hasn’t reviewed any footage of his failed stints with clubs around the world.
Bolt’s long-held dream of becoming a professional footballer will live or die by the opinion of Mulvey, who has the first and final say as to whether he will be offered an A-League contract.
Mulvey will reserve judgment until the 31-year-old arrives later this month in Gosford, where he has agreed to live for the duration of his “indefinite” trial period.
“I’ve had three dozen guys coming in for trials, I haven’t had time to go and watch every player that’s come in for training,” Mulvey said.
“We’ve taken some advice from people who have seen players and that’s how we’ve gone about our business, using our networks.
“I’m sure when he arrives he’ll give a good account for himself and we’ll see what happens from there.
“If it works, he will be offered a contract.”
Bolt has trained in the past with Germany’s Borussia Dortmund, South Africa’s Mamelodi Sundowns and Norway’s Stromsgodset.
None have offered him a full-time deal but Mariners CEO Shaun Mielekamp says he has been in touch with those clubs and received positive feedback about Bolt’s football ability.
“We’ve heard that every time he’s been training with them he’s made dramatic improvements whilst he was there,” Mielekamp told reporters on Wednesday.
“We will be looking for dramatic improvements.
“It’s hard to tell a lot of the time through the lens of a camera, both good and bad, so getting him on the ground and getting him with the boots on will be the most telling part.”
Mielekamp didn’t rule out the possibility of Central Coast fielding Bolt in a pre-season friendly if he is deemed fit enough to play.
Mulvey insisted the eight-time Olympic gold medallist would be treated as if he was any other player, saying it was nothing out of the ordinary for potential signings to be asked to train with the club for several weeks before being offered a deal.
“It just happens to be that this is Usain Bolt,” he said.
“I’ve spoken to him once. His attitude towards this was deadly serious.
“If it was up to him he’d be coming in without any hoopla but that’s impossible for a person of his stature.
“I’m really happy and really looking forward to having him train with the clu
TRIAL: Usain Bolt