Usain Bolt watched from the dugout as the Central Coast Mariners showed the Olympic champion the standards he needs to match in a 2-2 draw with the Newcastle Jets.
Antony Golec made his return after a five-month injury layoff, playing the full 90 minutes, as the Yellow and Navy came back to secure a result in this pre-season F3 derby in the Hunter city of Maitland.
Jack Clisby gave the Gosport club the advantage through a direct free-kick on 10 minutes, before Jason Hoffman levelled the scores on 40 minutes, finishing at the back post after impressive build up play from Nick Cowburn.
The Jets seized the advantage after the interval when Daniel Georgievski’s delivery was converted by Roy O’Donovan on 61 minutes. Connor Pain restored parity five minutes later with a spectacular strike from outside the penalty area.
Mariners coach Mulvey reaffirmed that he sees Bolt’s presence as a long-term project but revealed he could run out for 10 or 15 minutes in Friday’s match against a Central Coast representative side in Gosport.
“[Bolt] doesn't have football fitness which is natural,” Mulvey said, as reported by the Sydney Morning Herald.
“We have not brought him in and said you have to do this and do that by this time.
“We will give him a long stretch of time. We have some very good developmental coaches who will help him with his game.
“We will do that behind closed doors. Eventually he will play a game. He might play next Friday, just 10 or 15 minutes. It is long-term rather than short-term.”
With two months to go before the start of the Hyundai A-League season, Mulvey was delighted to see Golec step up his recovery after the 28-year-old defender suffered a fractured tibia in March.
“Antony Golec had a bad injury, he needs to gain confidence and I think tonight did him a world of good,” Mulvey added.