Usain Bolt is expected to make his competitive football debut for Australia’s Central Coast Mariners in a friendly on Friday.
The eight-time olympic gold medalist has expressed interest in playing professional football following is retirement from the athletics track. There were reports of brief trials at Premier League giants Manchester United and then at Bundesliga club Borussia Dortmund.
Following that, Bolt seemed to adjust his expectations and arrived at the A-League. Now after training with the Mariners – who finished bottom of the table last season – is expected to get ten or 20 minutes off the bench in the pre-season friendly.
“There will be nerves, definitely,” the 32-year-old told AFP.
“It’s not like a charity game anymore, this is a career I’m pursuing. I expect to make mistakes, but I also expect to go in, make myself proud and push myself.”
Bolt’s fame has spilled over into the usually quiet fixture, as the now televised game is expected to attract over 10 000 supporters to the Central Coast Stadium in Gosford. A local newspaper is reportedly distributing 100 000 bolt masks for fans to wear.
“I think that will be a bit weird, but not too weird,” said the Jamaican of the masks.
“I’ve seen a little bit of that in track and field. But it will be something new to play the first game and see that.”