Bolt in starting line-up

Sprint legend Usain Bolt says he has improved his fitness ahead of being named in the Central Coast Mariners starting line-up.

11 October 2018 | Sports

Sprint superstar Usain Bolt looks set to make his first start as a professional footballer tomorrow.

His performance will determine if he has a future in the sport of his boyhood dreams.

Bolt said Central Coast Mariners coach Mike Mulvey has indicated he would be in the starting line-up in a friendly against Macarthur South West United in Sydney.

“For me, that's always a good step when the coach is satisfied with your fitness to put you in the starting line-up - that's always a big step,” Bolt told Mariners' club media on Wednesday.

“I am just happy to get the chance and go out there and start, and do my best, because that is the key thing.”

The eight-time Olympic champion made his footballing debut in late August in a 20-minute cameo as a substitute on the left wing, nearly scoring but tiring quickly.

“My movement and my touch is much better now,” he said. “I've learnt how to set my body and where to place the ball.”

The A-League has been struggling in recent years with fewer fans and dwindling TV ratings. Football chiefs hope the arrival of big names like Bolt will boost local interest.

The 100m and 200m world record holder said he expects some nerves, but is excited by the opportunity to prove his worth as a footballer.

“This will 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,” he said.

“I'm looking forward to prove myself.”

NAMPA/AFP

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