Usain Bolt looks to start pro soccer career in Australia

UNICEF  GETTY    
   STRIKING Usain Bolt has signed with Australian football team Central Coast Mariners

UNICEF GETTY STRIKING Usain Bolt has signed with Australian football team Central Coast Mariners

"This is a very real football opportunity, this is not a stunt or gimmick - we want to know if Usain can play", Mielekamp told the Daily Telegraph.

Usain Bolt may finally realise his dream of playing professional football in the coming months, after entering negotiations for a six week trial with Central Coast Mariners.

Bolt played in a charity match for Unicef last month in London, captaining a "Soccer Aid World XI" team that featured Robbie Williams, Kevin Pietersen and Yaya Toure.

"There's still a lot of work to do in regards to understanding exactly how the deal would work out and how things would look, but things are very positive at the moment", Central Coast Mariners CEO Shaun Mielekamp said on Australia's Seven Network.

Bolt, who is widely considered to be the greatest sprinter of all time, has long had an ambition to play professional football.

The eight-time Olympic champion retired from athletics a year ago following the World Championships in London and has not hidden his ambition of entering the professional football ranks.

The A-League's 2018/19 season begins in October.

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Rallis told AAP that Bolt's trial would only go ahead if FFA agreed to contribute funds towards his contract if he is successful.

"We're not going to risk the Bolt image or brand or discredit the A-League".

From our perspective, it would only be big if he can play and it goes really well.

"We've got an athlete that's prepared to meet the trial criteria and benchmarks".

The 31-year-old eight-time Olympic champion has recently trained with Norwegian side Stromsgodset and Bundesliga's Borussia Dortmund.

Mr Rallis said: "If he's competitive, he will lift our A-League profile".

If he comes and is as good as our reports are saying that he can be then that would be exciting and I'm sure this stadium would be pretty full every time he puts boots on. "If he comes, and he's not up to the level, then it actually has a detrimental effect".

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