22 Aug 2018

Usain Bolt not offered to Phoenix

2:55 pm on 22 August 2018

The Wellington Phoenix say they weren't offered the chance to give sprint legend Usain Bolt a trial with the club.

The world's fastest man has just started an indefinite trial with the Central Coast Mariners, with the 8-time Olympic champion hoping to become a professional footballer.

Phoenix general manger David Dome says there is no doubt that Bolt's arrival in Australia has produce huge interest, but the Jamaican was never on their radar.

"He was not touted around the A-League. He was not offered up to all the clubs like some players have been...and we weren't interested in pursuing him as an option but obviously the Mariners have got a different view," said Dome.

Phoenix general manager David Dome.

Phoenix general manager David Dome. Photo: Photosport

"There's no doubt the guy can kick a ball. He's not absolutely clueless he does have some level of skill."

Reaction to Bolt trying to make in the A League is mixed.

"Some players will embrace it with one of the most famous sports people in the world bringing attention to their league while others won'tt see it quite so positively...but if you talk ten players you might ten different opinions on Usain Bolt potentially playing in A League.

"I suppose you can see it two ways. One it's a positive thing and it brings people to the A League...people who may not already be watching it while others will see it not appropriate - he doesn't have a background in football and has to prove himself like everybody else.

Usain Bolt trains with the Central Coast Mariners.

Usain Bolt trains with the Central Coast Mariners. Photo: Supplied

Bolt is expected to play his first trial game with Central Coast August 31st.

The club is refusing to put a timeline on how long they will give Bolt to prove his worth before deciding whether to offer a contract or not, with Mulvey declaring it could take up to 12 months.

Mulvey suggested Bolt's presence will be a boon for his club and the local community but also the Mariners' youngsters.

"This guy is a winner," he said at Tuesday's press conference.

"Eight gold medals in the Olympics. You don't just do that by having great ability. You do it by having great mental capacity.

"If we can pass on a little bit of that to my players, who are coming from the cellar and trying to get to the top, this could be great.

"You don't lower your training standards when Usain Bolt walks in the door."

Bolt, who has repeatedly declared he wants no special treatment from the Mariners, made it clear he wants to become mates with all of his potential teammates.

"I've always said one of my all-time best moments is running the 4x100 ... to come into a team is wonderful," he said.

"There's going to be a lot of banter. A lot of fun.

"I'm learning the (team's) rules right now, because there's a lot of fines."