Usain Bolt to Play Soccer

Usain Bolt is making a run at professional soccer in Australia.

The Olympic sprint great has long expressed his love of soccer. Since his retirement from track, he has tested himself with Germany’s Borussia Dortmund and the Norwegian club Stromsgodset. Now, at 31, he will try out for six weeks with the Central Coast Mariners starting next month. If all goes well, he could play for a season in Australia’s A-League. Australian agent Tony Rallis said Monday the Mariners and Bolt have a deal in principle, “subject to a couple of benchmarks.”

Rallis said the eight-time Olympic gold medallist would have to go through a tryout, and the Football Federation Australia would have to support his salary. “Once the FFA comes back and says that they’ll be part of the process, we’re going to the trial,” Rallis said. The agent said the Mariners would guarantee 70 percent of his salary and the FFA would be expected to pay the rest. “If he’s competitive, he will lift our A-League profile,” Rallis said. “He will create dreams for young people and he will give the A-League a profile no amount of money can buy. This bloke’s an ambitious athlete. The A-League needed a hero and we got superman.” Mariners chief executive Shaun Mielekamp said there is still a lot of work to do, and the tryout is imperative to determine Bolt’s skill.

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