“As long as you get fit in football, I think it’s relatively easy. That’s how I look at it.”
A relaxed yet determined Usain Bolt has held his first press conference since starting up a trial period with the Central Coast Mariners.
With Coach Mike Mulvey beside him, and addressing dozens of reporters from across the globe, the world’s fastest man reflected on what he thinks he can offer the Yellow and Navy - other than publicity.
“I’m very cool under pressure,” Bolt said.
“If you’ve seen me over the years, I think my ability to understand very quickly and to learn the game is something I’m good at.
“I think I see the game very well. I have to work on the basic skills, I think I’m good at controlling and things like that but I need to learn and that’s why I’m here. As long as I get my body in good shape, I should be fine.”
During the wide-ranging conference, the eight-time Olympic gold medallist also revealed he’s still looking for a place to live, he won’t be out partying while he trains (at least not to start with), and that we will see him do his signature pose if he scores on the soccer field.
Earlier Bolt, who turns 32 today, took to the lightning-bolt-adorned Gosford Stadium pitch for his first training session with the squad in front of the cameras.
Though he’s also trained with top-level teams in Norway in Germany in the past year, Bolt credited the Mariners with giving him his “first chance to train and get to the level of a professional footballer".
“We got offers from teams in Spain, France and the like, but for me it would be harder because I’d have to learn a new language," Bolt said.
"Australia’s somewhere I enjoy coming, and the Mariners decided to give me the opportunity, and I’m here to make them proud and myself proud.”
While Mulvey said he was ‘delighted’ to have Bolt in Gosford, and would be more than happy if his indefinite trial period with the Mariners stretched out to 12 months.
“When I first took the job, it was a difficult job obviously, given the position on the ladder over the last four years,” Mulvey said.
“But if you look at this community we’ve actually overachieved in the last 14 years getting to four (A-League) finals, so there’s a rebuilding phase that needs to be done.
“The club was actually in a failing capacity, and we’re accepting of that, so I need to lift the bar and be a little bit innovative and creative… and how much more innovative and creative can you get than bringing Usain Bolt to trial?”
Bolt also said Coasties shouldn’t feel afraid to approach him for a conversation. “I’m all about the fans, they really make the sport what it is, so I try my best to give back. Feel free to come up and say ‘Hi’!”