Eight-time Olympic sprint champion Usain Bolt’s soccer trial with Australian side Central Coast Mariners has come to an end, the club has revealed.
The Jamaican, 32, joined the A-League side for an “indefinite training period” in August and was involved in pre-season matches, but hasn’t featured in a competitive game since.
The possibility of securing a permanent contract had increased during that time, after Bolt scored two goals in a friendly and an offer had reportedly been made, however financial terms continued to be a sticking point.
A statement on the Mariners website confirmed that despite conversations with Bolt’s representative Ricky Simms and external partners to find a commercial solution that suits all parties had been ongoing, they’d been unable to find a solution.
“I would like to thank the Central Coast Mariners owners, management, staff, players and fans for making me feel so welcome during my time there. I wish the club success for the season ahead,” Bolt said on Friday.
Central Coast Mariners owner, Mike Charlesworth thanked Bolt for his commitment during his time there and deemed it to have been a successful time for all.
“This has been a mutually beneficial partnership that brought an increased level of excitement and attention to both the Mariners and the Hyundai A-League.” Charlesworth also said on Friday.
Bolt, who retired from athletics in 2017, has previously trained with Borussia Dortmund, South African club Mamelodi Sundowns and Norway’s Stromsgodset.
Last month Maltese club Valetta FC offered Bolt a two-year contract to play professionally, but it was turned down.
He also featured for a Rest of the World team in UNICEF’s annual Socceraid match in June, wearing 9.58 as his shirt number to symbolize his 100-meter world record time.