Usain Bolt makes Central Coast Mariners debut in 6-1…

Usain Bolt made his latest foray into football with a 20 minute cameo for the Central Coast Mariners in their 6-1 win over a Central Coast Select XI.

Bolt was drafted into the Mariners attack for the final part of the game – starting on the left and eventually playing in a more advanced role.

A few good attacking moves were thwarted by the Jamaican’s heavy first touch, while he failed to get his head to a cross from Jack Clisby when the result of the game was beyond doubt.

The multiple Olympic gold medallist showed good movement and awareness – none more so when he was forced to the sidelines as a member of the team had to remove a necklace he was wearing.

But as the clock ticked over into stoppage time, Bolt appeared to tire quickly and stayed deep as the Mariners pushed on.

The Central Coast Stadium – which hosted an average of 7,500 fans per game in the last A-League season – had 9,958 through the gate for the Jamaican’s first Mariners match.

And the interest in the potential debut for the world’s fastest man was not confined to the ground with the match broadcast in 40 countries.

Sporting bright orange boots and gloves for the cold Friday night in Gosford, Bolt was ordered to stretch his legs twice in the first half – with one lucky fan getting a high-five as he made his way back to the bench.

On the pitch, the Mariners were streets ahead in the opening half and went into the break 5-0 up.

Clisby opened the scoring after just 19 seconds, with the ground’s big screen showing Bolt smiling and applauding the effort.

Bolt chose to wear the number 95 for the game against a Central Coast Select XI – an obvious nod to his world record 9.58 100m record.

The fans chanting “We want Bolt” in the second half eventually got their wish as the Jamaican strode onto the turf in the 71st minute.

The 32-year-old is hoping to win a professional contract with the A-League side who finished bottom of the pile in the A-League last season, winning only four of their 27 matches.

After trials in Germany and Norway – and a man of the match appearance for a Rest of the World XI in Soccer Aid – Bolt is looking to win a contract ahead of the start of the season in October.

But as a brass band paraded through the stand playing the Tetris theme tune as Bolt was on show, fans may have been feeling there are still a few more blocks which need to fall into place.

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