Bolt of Leave from A-League’s Central Coast Mariners

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Usain Bolt may have decided that football is not for him.

An athlete accustomed to having his job done over the course of seconds, Bolt seems to be having difficulty acclimating to working for longer periods. He is far from the stage where anyone could expect him to endure the entire 90 minutes of a football game.

The most recent news is that Bolt will be taking a week’s leave from the Central Coast Mariners.

A statement by the club picked up by the AAP said, in part, “After completing his first three weeks of training with the Central Coast Mariners, the club wishes to advise that Usain Bolt will be abroad from Sunday 9 September to Sunday 16 September for a previously planned commitment.”

Mariners Coach Mike Mulvey had positive comments following Bolt’s 20 minutes of pitch time in a 6 – 1 victory over a Central Coast select side.

“I think the big fellow did OK,” Mulvey said. “He was on a hiding to nothing a little bit nervous, but I’m quite happy with him.”

Bolt’s future is anything but clear. He is 32 years of age and after dominating the sprint events in athletics for the better part of 12 years and three Olympic Games, making the code hop from sprinting to football would be extraordinary, perhaps even more so that Michael Jordan’s ill-fated attempt to move from NBA basketball to professional baseball, but perhaps less so than Jarryd Hayne’s foray into American gridiron as a member of the San Francisco 49ers.

The Mariners knew of Bolt’s plan to leave in advance, so it was not as though he bolted during the dark of night, but in the cold light of day, making an impact at the A-League level does not seem like something that would offer a high likelihood of supplying substantial dividends.