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Bolt named in Mariners squad for Friday's football friendly

BACK AT IT: Usain Bolt

USAIN BOLT, who as a wannabe footballer is more valuable for his marketing output than his input on the pitch, has been named in the Central Coast Mariners squad for Friday's friendly.

Yet the Jamaican former sprint king, who struggled on his debut in August for the top-tier Australian club, is helping to shift tickets for Friday's clash against NPL side Wollongong Wolves at the WIN Stadium.

The eight-time Olympic champion, given the no.95 shirt that signifies the current 100m record of 9.58s he set nine years ago, is a trialist with the A-League club.

And Mariners coach Mike Mulvey recently went on record to state that he will make a decision in December or January whether to offer Bolt a contract.

But Bolt's agent is demanding a highly lucrative contract for the sporting icon to turn out for last season's basement side. Therefore, to sign Bolt and make it viable the Mariners will be relying onl substantial financial assistance from the Football Federation Australia.

Bolt will surely get a chance to try to improve on his cameo 18-minute run-out debut against a bunch of amateurs. The game attracted almost 10,000 spectators simply because the 32-year-old was involved.

And his pulling power is immense, with the Mariners announcing on social media that Bolt would be travelling to Wollongong as part of their squad.

Bolt, whose technical skills are clearly lacking, failed to earn a contract after trials in Germany, Norway and South Africa. So he is giving Australia a shot in his bid to become a professional footballer in the top flight.

Whether he will tackle the friendly as a left winger or left back remains to be seen, although he is expected to once more make an appearance as a substitute. But at least this time Bolt should be match fit.

There is a little over a fortnight to go until the new A-League kicks off, with the Mariners set to visit Brisbane Roar on 20 October.

If Bolt wants to face top quality opposition at a competitive level when the campaign starts then Friday's friendly is his chance to prove his worth on the pitch and not just be a marketing tool for ticket sales.

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