'It's a big deal': Bolt buoyant but targeting improvement after friendly double
Usain Bolt said it was a ‘big deal’ to score his first goal in professional football after firing in a brace against Macarthur South West United on Friday.
The 32-year-old led the line for Central Coast Mariners in their friendly and sent Campbelltown Stadium into raptures when he slammed home a second half double.
Bolt had earlier spurned a bundle of chances but scored his first and the Mariners’ third with a sweetly-hit left-footed effort early in the second stanza before clinching his brace after a horror Macarthur mix up.
“Scoring a goal in your first proper match, it’s a big deal,” Bolt told Fox Sports’ Adam Peacock following his 75th minute substitution.
“It was a good feeling because this is what I worked towards, I try to improve myself, I try to get better and I’m on the way to doing that.”
The former sprint star spearheaded the attack next to new signings Tommy Oar and Ross McCormack and was involved in the action from the opening whistle, where he found himself clean through after a Macarthur turnover on halfway.
Like several other half-chances the Jamaican received on the night, Bolt was caught a little off the pace, but he revealed he’s growing in confidence every day under the tutelage of Mike Mulvey.
“The coach said to me, ‘listen you will get the chances, you will miss some, you will score some'.
“Just don’t get your head down, keep your head up and try for the next one.
“[The early chance] caught me by surprise and I just panicked a little bit in the first couple of minutes.
“The more you play the more you learn and get more accustomed to the game.”
Bolt offered a strong physical presence up front for Mulvey’s side, evidenced by the way he rode several meaty challenges and was often the target of deliveries from out wide.
The eight-time Olympic gold medal winner says he’s continuing to pick up the essentials as he chases a Hyundai A-League contract with the Gosford club.
“I’m learning a lot, I’m picking up a lot of simple things and I always feel like the simple things are the ones that really matter,” he continued.
“I watch football so I understand the movement but the simple things like locking my ankles, getting to space pulling defenders away stuff like that… I’ve learned a lot and I’ve been improving quickly I personally feel, so I’m just happy I’m showing the world I’m improving.”