Usain Bolt believes Friday’s trial match could determine his future with the Central Coast Mariners.
Bolt is expected to start for the first time since arriving at the A-League club in August in the hope of beginning a professional soccer career.
“This is going to be a big game. I think it will determine if the club makes up its mind on what to do with my career,” said Bolt of the match against a select Macarthur South West United team.
After being used as a winger in his first brief trial appearance in late August, the retired track great hinted at a positional change for the match at Sydney’s Campbelltown Stadium.
Not only has coach Mike Mulvey raised the prospect of starting with Bolt, but also deploying him further up the pitch in the frontline.
With Mulvey likely to play a strong line-up, Bolt is keen to show how much improvement he has made by working with the first team.
“(Mulvey) said he wants to play me up top more,” Bolt said.
“The couple of games that I played, I didn’t play with the first team.
“There’s a few first-team boys in the team for Friday. So I’ll get different service, better service, because they’re more seasoned and more mature.
“So he just told me to make sure I’m focused and push myself, and I’ll just take the chances when I get them.”
Bolt has undergone one-on-one sessions on top of the team’s training program in a bid to fast-track his development.
And the 32-year-old is taking his first run-on start as an indication that the coaching staff are pleased by the progress he has made with his conditioning and touch.
“That’s always a good step, when coaches are satisfied with the fitness to put me in the starting line-up. That’s always a big step,” Bolt said.
“I can say I’ve been improving, (but) you won’t know what level you’re at until you actually play a competitive game.
“I’ve just got to go out there and play and see what I need to do or if I should continue if not. I’m just pushing myself, I think I’ve put in a lot of work.
“Now it’s just to go out there and execute.”
The Mariners open their A-League season against the Brisbane Roar on Sunday week.