'This is real': Bolt ready to prove himself
A typically captivating entry from the Jamaican is sure to whet both appetite and intrigue around the Hyundai A-League.
An avalanche of media greeted the eight-time Olympic gold medallist as he strolled into Sydney Airport earlier this morning.
The target of many raised eyebrows around the country, there have been many questions clouding Bolt’s arrival on Australian soil and impending trial with the Central Coast Mariners.
Bolt is a man impervious to scrutiny, it seems. And although some questions remain unanswered, a charismatic airport cameo from the Jamaican came as a timely reminder of his unrivalled ambition and determination.
“I’ve said it since my last season of track and field that I want to play football,” he said.
“I know what I’m capable of, I know what I can do.
“This is real. I’ve told the world that I want to be a footballer and I know what I can do for the Mariners who are giving me the opportunity to show what I’m capable of.
“As you all know I love Australia so I’m happy to call Australia home for now.”
Of course, the crucial question remains – will Bolt be good enough to land a professional football contract with the Gosford-based club?
The 31-year-old will undoubtedly become the target of intense examination as he fights to make his football dream a reality for Mike Mulvey’s side.
Despite the ultimate outcome, there is little doubt that Bolt’s charming presence in Australian football has the potential to yield a few pleasant surprises.
It would be some remarkable achievement for Bolt, who has previously been unsuccessful in this quest at Norwegian side Strømsgodset and German powerhouse Borussia Dortmund.
But it could be unwise to write off his time with the Mariners, particularly for a man who does not believe in limits.
He is certainly ready to prove the doubters wrong, even to the extent of craftily playing down the terms of his ‘indefinite’ trial with the Mariners.
“I’m here forever,” Bolt said.
“That’s the plan – I’m really going to push myself, I’m going to work hard and I’m looking forward to putting my best foot forward.
“Nerves are always gonna be here but I’m more excited than anything else!”
So are we, Usain.