Usain Bolt: Eight-time Olympic champion to train with Central Coast Mariners

Usain Bolt- cropped

Usain Bolt- cropped

Bolt, 31, retired from athletics previous year following a career that featured the 100m world record and eight Olympic gold medals.

Bolt won eight Olympic golds and since retiring from athletics has trained with Germany's Borussia Dortmund, South Africa's Mamelodi Sundowns and Norway's Stromsgodset.

He said on Central Coast Mariners" official website: "I am very excited about coming to Australia and would like to thank the owner and management of the Central Coast Mariners for giving me this opportunity.

Bolt said it had been his "dream" to play football and acknowledged it would require a lot of hard work and training.

It's offical. Usain Bolt has signed on with the Central Coast Mariners for what the A League club are calling an "indefinite training period". I hope I can make a positive contribution to the club.

"I always say that 'Anything is possible, don't think limits, ' and I look forward to the challenge", said Bolt, who is set to travel to Gosford, north of Sydney, this month to join the squad for practice.

Mariners chief executive Shaun Mielekamp said Bolt's arrival, which was widely mocked when first mooted last month, "perfectly aligned" with the club's development plans.

'It is important that we don't get too caught up in the hype of possibilities, but the reality is that Usain Bolt has placed his faith in the Central Coast Mariners to accelerate his football journey.

"Whilst we all know this must be tempered with the reality that there is a job to do and hard work ahead, we are committed to building a team that will win matches and instil belief".

"Hopefully Usain can help us on this mission".

The sprinter is a massive Manchester United fan, and regularly posts on social media about the team.

He remains the world record holder at the 100m - with a time of 9.58 seconds - and the 200m, where he has clocked 19.19 seconds.

The Mariners begin their A-League campaign in October.