Baby steps for Usain Bolt in football switch
Usain Bolt isn’t used to being on the sidelines.
Or appearing in front of just 3,500 people.
But that’s what happened on Saturday as the Jamaican superstar watched his Central Coast Mariners play a trial match with the Newcastle Jets from the dugout at Maitland Sports Ground.
Before sitting with his new team-mates, Bolt signed autographs and posed for selfies with some of the crowd.
WORK IN PROGRESS
This was the latest step in the Olympic hero's conversion from sprint legend to footballer having completed his first training session with the Mariners on his 32nd birthday on Tuesday.
The eight-time gold medallist watched intently from the bench for the entire game, away from the attention of the fans.
Bolt could play some part in a friendly next Friday in Gosford, but coach Mike Mulvey admits he is a very much a work in progress.
Mulvey told the Sydney Morning Herald, "He doesn't have football fitness which is natural. We have not brought him in and said you have to do this and do that by this time.
"We will give him a long stretch of time. We have some very good developmental coaches who will help him with his game."
"He might play next Friday, just 10 or 15 minutes. It is long-term rather than short-term." - Central Coast Mariners coach Mike Mulvey on Usain Bolt
ONE OF THE LADS
Apart from towering above his Central Coast colleagues, Bolt looked like just another member of the squad.
He was certainly animated as the Mariners played out a 2-2 draw.
But the focus will be well and truly on him on Friday if he makes his on-pitch debut in a Mariners shirt.