Usain Bolt has scored the first goals of his career as a soccer player, finding the net twice in a friendly.
The eight-time Olympic gold medalist netted the Central Coast Mariners’ third and fourth goals as they thrashed Macarthur South West United 4-0 in what was his first start for the club.
Bolt’s first goal came when Scotland striker Ross McCormack chipped a ball through to 32-year-old, who held off the defender before firing a low left-footed shot past the goalkeeper.
Shortly afterward, Bolt added a second, capitalizing on some calamitous defending. Macarthur’s goalkeeper collided with a defender, leaving the former sprinter the simple task of tapping the ball into an empty net from close range.
“I’m just happy that I got a chance and I’m proud of myself,” the Jamaican told Fox Sports Australia after the game.
“It was a big deal. Scoring a goal in your first match, it was a good feeling.
“I’ve learned a lot and I’ve been improving quickly.”
Bolt retired from track and field in 2017 and joined the Australian A-League club in August for an “indefinite training period.”
The 11-time world championship gold medalist made his debut for the Mariners on August 31 and has been eager to impress the club as he hopes to secure a contract ahead of the start of the A-League season, which is scheduled for October 19.
“My first start and scoring two goals, it’s a good feeling,” Bolt added.
“I’m happy I could come here and show the world I’m improving. I’m keen to be a Mariner, to play my best and get into the team.”
McCormack, who is currently on loan at the Mariners from English Championship side Aston Villa, was full of praise for his teammate.
“The best thing about Usain Bolt is he’s so humble,” McCormack said.
“He’s fitted in well with the lads. From my first day even to where he is now, the transformation is huge.”
Bolt, who is a Manchester United fan, has previously trained with Strømsgodset in Norway, Mamelodi Sundowns FC in South Africa and Borussia Dortmund in Germany.
While doubts over how feasible the transition from the track to the soccer field is going to be are hard to dispel, Bolt found a high-profile supporter in the shape of former Spain and Real Madrid coach Vicente del Bosque.
The Spaniard, who won two Champions Leagues and two La Liga titles with Real Madrid and led Spain to their maiden World Cup title in 2010 and triumph at Euro 2012, believes Bolt would make a good full-back.
“With space, he could be a very good footballer,” Del Bosque told the Olympic Channel last month. “For a team that counter-attacks hard and transitions quickly into open space, sure he could fit in.
“He could be a full-back that covers a lot of space, but it depends because it’s not just about covering 100, or 60 or 70 meters of the pitch.