He is the greatest Olympian of all time but Usain Bolt’s football dream might be beyond him.
The an eight-time Olympic gold medallist and the world’s fastest man has been in discussions with A-League club Central Coast Mariners about a potential six-week trial.
Since retiring from track and field last year, the 31-year-old has often spoke of his serious ambition to make it as a professional footballer.
And trials with German giants Borussia Dortmund and Norwegian outfit Stromsgodset have given the Jamaican some experience of a professional environment.
But it is a video of the second trial that suggests Bolt will struggle in Australia’s top football competition.
Footage of Bolt featuring for Stromsgodset in a friendly against Norway’s Under-19 team shows a player who, despite receiving the adulation of the crowd, looks unnatural on the pitch.
He clearly has impressive physical attributes but his touch and vision looks a long way off the standard required.
Bolt’s speed, clearly his biggest asset, does not help him – not unsurprising given the tight confines of a pitch filled with 20 outfield players.
If Bolt agrees on a trial with the Mariners, he would surely need to improve significantly to be offered a contract.
Central Coast said on Tuesday they “remain committed to discussions with the ‘world’s fastest man’ and his management team, regarding what role the club may play in Bolt’s burning ambition to become a professional footballer”.
“It is crucial to note that all discussions between the Central Coast Mariners and Bolt require an initial six-week trial period and no contract is guaranteed,” it said.
Former Socceroo Clint Bolton acknowledged the publicity Bolt had already brought to the Mariners, but was sceptical about the speedster’s chances of winning a contract.
“Usain Bolt has cut-through,” Bolton said on Macquarie Sports Radio.
You’ve got that … but the big question is can he play? He’s never played at a decent level. It’s not going to happen in my mind.
“They are getting some short-term exposure. My worry is, are they genuine in their interest to sign him or is this a PR gimmick?
“Hopefully they’re not promising Usain Bolt a good opportunity when that’s not really the intent.”
Bolt’s link to the Central Coast has generated significant media attention and created headlines across the world.
The Mariners finished bottom of the table in the 2017-18 A-League season, winning just four of a possible 27 matches.
They attracted an average crowd of 7,194, a figure that would likely rise significantly if Bolt was to sign a deal with the club.