Usain Bolt has expressed the relief he felt after grabbing a brace in the Central Coast Mariners’ 4-0 win over Macarthur South West United on Friday night.
The 32-year-old opened his account on 57 minutes, latching onto a through ball from Scotland international Ross McCormack. Lightning struck twice as Bolt capitalised on a mix-up between defender and goalkeeper on 68 minutes to tap home his second for the night.
Bolt was thrilled to get on the scoresheet, but acknowledged he still has a long way to go to satisfy himself and his teammates.
“It was brilliant, it takes all the weight off your shoulders, that first goal to relax you,” said Bolt.
“I’m here to prove to the world that, as I said, I can be a footballer, and I can push myself and see how far I can go. That’s what I’m here for.
“I always give thanks to Mariners for giving me the opportunity to prove myself. So I’m just excited to take it step by step, and move forward.”
It seems Bolt is in the right environment to improve, too. With the likes of McCormack, Tommy Oar and Connor Pain in tow, the Jamaican enjoyed his fair share of service.
“[McCormack] told me ‘Listen, don’t worry. As soon as I get the ball, if you make the right runs, I’ll get you the ball,’” said Bolt.
“It will come together. The more you play with the players, the more you get to know what they want; where they want the ball; where you should be when they have the ball. So I think with more time, if I continue on this journey, we’ll get better”.
Head Coach, Mike Mulvey, praised Bolt for his efforts on Friday night but called for calm.
“He covered himself in glory tonight,” said Mulvey.
“I think everyone’s super pleased for him, the lads in the dressing room are pleased for him, and you have to take your hat off to him.
“You don’t get caught in the headlights, he’s another player. He is a superstar, I understand that, and I mean no disrespect whatsoever. He’s a beautiful human being, he’s a very humble guy, and he’s really mixed in with everybody fantastically well.”
Despite all the excitement surrounding Bolt, Mulvey was focussed on Round 1 of the upcoming Hyundai A-League season against Brisbane Roar. It will be a blast from the past for Mulvey, who coached the Roar to their last Premier’s Plate and Championship back in Season 2013/14.
“My main mission is Brisbane next week,” said Mulvey. “That’s always been the aim. Get the preseason done properly, make sure that we are fit, strong, ready to go, and have competition for places.
“We’ve split the players into two groups over the last two nights, and we’ve got an end result where we’ve got people who are competing for places in the team.”