Bolt Brace!

Sprint le­gend scores first pro­fes­sional brace

The Star (Jamaica) - - SPORTS -

Usain Bolt took a huge step to­wards be­com­ing a pro­fes­sional foot­baller by scor­ing twice in his first start for Cen­tral Coast Mariners dur­ing a trial match on Thurs­day. The eight-time Olympic gold medal­list, who is hop­ing to win a con­tract with the Mariners ahead of the 2018-19 sea­son, ran on to a chipped ball played by Scot­land striker Ross McCor­mack, held off the de­fender, and fin­ished pow­er­fully low past the goal­keeper to open his ac­count. He then cap­i­talised on a de­fen­sive mix-up for his sec­ond, with a de­fender and goal­keeper col­lid­ing to leave Bolt able to tap in from close range, as he guided Mariners to a com­fort­able 4-0 vic­tory over Macarthur South West. It was the 32-year-old Bolt’s third ap­pear­ance for the Mariners hav­ing also fea­tured in games in Au­gust and Septem­ber. The world record holder in the 100 and 200m events said he was happy to have scored in his first start.

“My first start and scor­ing two goals, it’s a good feel­ing. 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,” Bolt said af­ter­wards.

The lanky Ja­maican, who had pre­vi­ously ad­mit­ted to strug­gling to get fit, said his per­for­mance showed that he was mak­ing steady im­prove­ments in his game.

“This will de­ter­mine... [what] the club wants to do with my ca­reer, so it’s a very im­por­tant game. I have been im­prov­ing, but you won’t know what level you’re at un­til you play a com­pet­i­tive game, so I just have to go out there and see what I need to do or whether I should con­tinue or not.

“I’m just push­ing my­self and have put in the work so now I have to go out there and ex­e­cute,” Bolt said.

McCor­mack, who is on loan from As­ton Villa, had high praise for Bolt’s per­for­mance.

“The best thing about Usain Bolt is he’s so hum­ble and he’s fit­ted in well with the lads. From my first day even to where he is now, the trans­for­ma­tion is huge,” McCor­mack stated.

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