The latest update in the ongoing saga that is Usain Bolt’s attempted career switch is that Central Coast Mariners have walked away from contract negotiations after balking at the exorbitant salary the Olympic sprinter’s agents demanded.
Bolt scored the first two goals of his experimental trial with Mariners recently, netting twice in a friendly against a team of enthusiastic local amateurs.
The Australian side then offered him a contract, but Bolt rejected it as the $150,000 salary on the table fell some way short of the $3million (!) he was looking for.
One man (among many) who isn’t even close to being convincing that Bolt is worth persisting with is Andy Keogh, who is currently plays for Perth Glory and has seen the whole shambolic circus unfold at close quarters.
Speaking to his old mucker Keith Andrews on his Off The Ball phone-in, the former Wolves and Republic of Ireland striker didn’t pull any punches when asked to assess Bolt’s chances of making it as a professional footballer.
It’s nice to have the attention on the A League but him (Bolt) playing in the A League, that’s not for me. He’s 31. For me, he’s not going to be able to make it.
He’s shown a bit [of potential] but it’s a little bit of a kick in the teeth to the professionals that are in the league.
It’s fine from a marketing point of view but from a football perspective, it’s a little bit farcical.
Describing what he’d seen of Bolt’s ability so far, Keogh described the sprinter as having a “touch like a trampoline”, which almost clinically accurate.
If there’s someone who genuinely thinks he’d be a good football addition, I don’t think they should be in a position to make those calls.
That’s about it in a nutshell. He’s not very good and he’s certainly not worth the money.
If Bolt’s attempts to make it as a footballer are solely about fulfilling a lifelong dream, then surely it shouldn’t require $3million per annum to make it happen.