Bolt's Mariners deal comes to an end
Central Coast Mariners have announced the Usain Bolt experiment is over, citing an inability to come to a “suitable deal” with the Jamaican in a “timely manner”.
Bolt - an eight-time Olympic Games gold medallist and the fastest sprinter in the world - joined the Mariners on trial in August to much fanfare.
He trained with the Hyundai A-League club and even impressed in some of Central Coast’s pre-season fixtures, most notably scoring a double in a 4-0 friendly win over a Macarthur South West United team in October.
But Bolt remained outside the club’s 23-player A-League squad and the Mariners revealed last week that any potential deal would require a significant financial contribution from a third party.
The Mariners said in a statement that, in conjunction with Bolt’s representative, Ricky Simms, they had “been in conversations with external partners to find a commercial solution that suits all parties.”
They added: “Despite several promising potential partners, both Bolt and the Central Coast Mariners have amicably concluded that they will not be able to settle on a suitable deal in a timely manner.”
Bolt had not been training with the Mariners in recent times.
Bolt said on Friday that he wanted to thank everyone involved at the Hyundai A-League club for making him “so welcome”.
“I would like to thank the Central Coast Mariners owners, management, staff, players and fans for making me feel so welcome during my time there,” he said.
“I wish the club success for the season ahead.”
Central Coast Mariners owner Mike Charlesworth said the club was “thrilled” to have worked with Bolt and that the arrangement had been “mutually beneficial”.
“Despite the fact that we could not come to an agreement that would continue Usain Bolt’s football journey with the Central Coast Mariners, we’ve been thrilled to have the Olympic champion sprinter and world record holder as part of our club for these past eight weeks,” he said.
“For the Mariners, it’s been a pleasure to work with Usain as he pursued his desire to become a professional football player.
“This has been a mutually beneficial partnership that brought an increased level of excitement and attention to both the Mariners and the Hyundai A-League.
"From day one, Usain dedicated himself to being part of the Mariners.
"He integrated very well into the team and made great strides as a footballer.
“Most notable, was his performance in Campbelltown where he scored two goals helping the Mariners secure a 4-0 win against Macarthur South West United.
“Whilst we understand that Usain will not be part of the club going forward, the Central Coast Mariners wish him all the best in his future endeavours and we hope that opportunities arise to collaborate in other capacities in the future.”