Muscat Daily - - FRONT PAGE -

Syd­ney, Aus­tralia - Sprint su­per­star Usain Bolt looks set to make his first start as a pro­fes­sional foot­baller on Fri­day, a chal­lenge he said could de­ter­mine if he has a fu­ture in the sport of his boy­hood dreams.

Bolt said the coach of his Cen­tral Coast Mariners, Mike Mul­vey, had 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.

Bolt said he had im­proved his fit­ness since, and ex­pected to spend more time up front.

"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 100m world record holder said he ex­pected some nerves when out on the pitch, but was 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."

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