Bolt to start Friday trial in 'very important game' for Mariners career
Ahead of his confirmed start against Macarthur South West United on Friday night, Usain Bolt is looking forward to having the opportunity to prove himself.
The fixture, which will be broadcast Fox Sports Channel 503 and the MyFootball Live app, will mark Bolt's first ever start for the Central Coast Mariners in his bid to win a professional contract.
This week, the lightning-quick athlete-turned-footballer shed some light on how much he's improved and what fans can expect at Campbelltown Sports Stadium.
Question: We're two days out now from what could be the biggest day of your football career, how are you feeling?
Bolt: I'm excited, first of all. Always going to be a little bit nervous when I get on the field, but right now I'm just excited. I look forward always to opportunities to prove myself, I'm that type of guy. I like competition, I like pressure, so I'm excited to go out there and just give it my best as always.
Q: People are going to compare this performance with your last performance. Based on what you've been doing at training, what do you think is going to be your biggest improvement from that game?
Bolt: I think my movement -- my touch and my movement. I think my touches are much better now. I'v learnt how to set my body, where to place the ball, get the ball from underneath my feet so there are a lot of things I've learnt that I'll be applying to the game. It should be much better and I have more time on the field because I'm fitter now so that's good.
Q: Mike [Mulvey] said that there's a good chance - and fitness-wise - that you're ready to start. Can you provide a bit of an insight as to what your conversations with him's been around your involvement for Friday's game?
Bolt: For me, he said he wants to play me up top more. The couple of games I played I didn't play with the first team, so there's a few of the first team boys in the team for Friday, so I'll get a lot of different service, better service because they're more seasoned and more mature.
"He just told me to make sure I'm focused and push myself and take the chances when I get them."
Q: And what an opportunity for you if you do get the chance to start, that'll be massive for your potential football career.
Bolt: Yeah, for me that's always a good step when a coach is satisfied with your fitness to put you into the starting lineup, that's always a big step. I'm just happy I can get the chance to go out there and start, I'm just going to do my best because that's the key thing.
Q: Are you ready to go?
Bolt: Yeah! I can say I've been improving, and you won't know what level you're at until you actually play a competitive game so I've just got to go out there and play and then see what I need to do, or if I should continue or not. I'm just pushing myself, I think I've put in a lot of work so now it's time to just go out there and execute.
Q: This could be the biggest game of your football career. Going into that, you must be excited?
Bolt: Yeah, this is going to be a big game. I think it will determine if the club makes up its mind on what to do with my career, so for me it's a very important game. I'm excited and I'm looking forward to proving myself so I'm just going to go out there, push myself and hopefully everything will work out. So that's my focus.
Q: You talked about positioning and things you've improved on, is there anyone in the team that's really mentored you and gave you advice to help you get to that next level?
Bolt: For me, Kali[fa Cissé] was one of the first. He really talked to me and explained to me about what I should do and continue pushing. And the captain, Simo [Matt Simon], also did a got job in motivating me. And Corey [Gameiro], was one of them also. Even in game, when I should move, he would scream at me and say "Push up, push up, push up!" It'll help me during games and off the pitch, and it's good to have these guys really support and see the vision I'm trying to do here and really want me to succeed.