Usain Bolt's debut could definitely have gone better
Usain Bolt will be given time as he attempts to prove himself worthy of a permanent contract with the Central Coast Mariners.
Bolt came off the bench to make his debut in a pre-season friendly match against amateur side Central Coast Football but failed to make an impact.
The former Olympic champion came on in the 71st minute as a trialist, having trained with the A-League team in recent weeks.
Ahead of the new Australian top-flight season, Bolt remains hopeful of fulfilling his dream of becoming a professional footballer after retiring from sprinting last year.
But on Friday, the 32-year-old failed to impress as he completed just one pass in his 22-minute appearance and was dispossessed three times.
Usain Bolt's first touch in a Central Coast Mariners shirt didn't go quite to plan, then. pic.twitter.com/so5SzPQuQ9
— FourFourTwo (@FourFourTwo) August 31, 2018
Bolt managed just nine touches of the ball and the fact that he completed more step-overs than successful passes tells you everything you need to know about how effective he was.
Speaking after the match, Bolt said: "I was happy to be out there and to get the experience was pretty cool.
"I think the first 15 minutes was pretty good, but the last five I could feel my back getting a bit tight, but overall I wasn't too tired, so that's a good sign.
"I think my fitness is much better from the first week to the second week. I need to keep pushing myself.''
With the No. 95 on his back, Bolt started on the left wing and while nobody is ever going to match his pace, he is light years behind in terms of footballing ability.
But manager Mike Mulvey insisted that Bolt would be given time to reach match fitness and prove himself.
"He's an honest guy and he'll tell you that himself,'' Mulvey told the Sydney Morning Herald.
"I know a few people in sport and one of my closest friends always told me, 'do not ever ask anybody to do something technical and tactical unless you've got the physical capability to do it.'
"I won't judge him on whether he can zip past somebody or get on the end of a header, we need to get him fit and give him time.
"I'll give him 12 months if required.''