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A-League Review: Mariners held as Bolt considers move – football news

Central Coast Mariners drew 1-1 at Brisbane Roar in their opening match of the 2018-19 A-League season.

Mike Mulvey’s side, who have offered a contract to former athletics star Usain Bolt, were denied all three points by a second-half equaliser from Roar debutant Adam Taggart.

The visitors went ahead after only four minutes at Suncorp Stadium when Connor Pain finished a blistering counter-attack in clinical fashion.

Taggart missed a host of chances but eventually drew his side level 20 minutes into the second half, turning sharply in the box before rifling high past goalkeeper Ben Kennedy.

Tony Popovic’s first match in charge of Perth Glory also ended 1-1, as Western Sydney Wanderers claimed a point at nib Stadium.

Andy Keogh’s strike capped the home side’s first-half dominance, and Alex Grant’s header looked destined to double the lead only to crash off the crossbar.

Wanderers levelled just five minutes later, Roly Bonevacia holding off Tomi Mrcela before slotting past Liam Reddy.

Wellington Phoenix joined Melbourne City as the only other side to win in the opening round of matches, after Mark Rudan’s side beat Newcastle Jets 2-1.

The 43-year-old’s first A-League game in charge swung Phoenix’s way 32 minutes in, when Daniel Georgievski’s attempted clearance ended in his own net.

Roy Krishna secured the win in the 89th minute after converting the rebound from his own missed penalty, with Dimitri Petratos’ goal in the fifth minute of injury time serving only as a consolation.

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Usain Bolt’s goals: One lightning strike but his football future is still cloudy – football news

At half time of Usain Bolt’s second match for the Central Coast Mariners, this writer was penning an obituary for the Olympic champion’s chances of a professional football career in Australia.

While he was involved in a few ‘moments’ during the first 45, he looked like a tall, quick Sunday league footballer running around trying to make an impact.

In only the second minute, the sprinter was presented a golden chance to use his speed when a defensive slip up allowed him to be one-on-one with the Macarthur South West United goalkeeper.

When Bolt burst clear, you felt as if this was the moment whether he would announce himself as a potential professional footballer or not.

But the 32-year-old’s touch was too heavy and because he lacks perception of his surroundings, a defender closed him down from the blind side.

Usain Bolt Central Coast Mariners

It wasn’t until the 11th minute that Bolt completed his first pass. He then got kicked in the mid-section four minutes later, gave away a clumsy foul and slipped over trying to change direction.

He did manage to have a header on goal bounce just wide of the post after a pinpoint cross from Ross McCormack, but his first half was a comedy of errors that suggested he had absolutely no chance of making the grade as a professional Down Under.

Cue a half time chat with Mariners coach Mike Mulvey. And while it hasn’t been revealed what the English-born tactician said to Bolt, it’s clear he told the 195cm athlete to use his massive frame to his advantage.

Only two minutes after half time, Bolt won a free kick in the attacking midfield area by putting his body in between the defender and the ball.

And it was this advantage – plus McCormack’s deft through ball – that helped set up his first goal for a senior team.

After running on to McCormack’s pass, Bolt smartly pushed off the defender, creating enough space for him to advance forward and get a shot off.

The finish was actually quite decent, spearing into the near post after a low, hard shot off Bolt’s left boot.

It was a quality move by the Central Coast attack and Bolt should be commended for how well he set up and took his chance.

But this was the only passage of play in Bolt’s 72 minutes where he looked like a footballer – forget his second goal, which was a horrible defensive mix-up.

The Mariners’ opponent Macarthur South West United was a team of A-League hopefuls cobbled together for the purpose of this friendly, and it showed as they lacked cohesion and organisation in the 4-0 defeat.

Imagine if Bolt was coming up against Melbourne City, with the A-League’s best centre half in Bart Schenkeveld marking him, and the big frame of Rostyn Griffiths dropping back from midfield.

It’s very difficult to teach someone how to move off the ball and the nuances of a game they have never fully focused on throughout their life.

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The eight-time gold medallist should be commended for having a crack at becoming a footballer, and the Mariners have been smart to cash in on his marketability in the short term.

While Bolt believes he can make it in Gosford, he is still incredible long odds to be a success on the Australian domestic stage, even in the 12 months he says it will take to develop.

And Friday night doesn’t change anything, despite the single bolt from the blue.

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Excellent service

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Thomas

Live Sport channels

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Sasan

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Kcdtran

Quality is Amazing

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David

Plenty of stuff

Many thanks! Plenty of stuff.

Cialis

I love the app

I love the app interface so simple and straight forward to use. The content is High Definition and finally the services are affordable.

Kelvin m.

Incredible

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Gotze backs Usain Bolt to be football success – football news

Mario Gotze believes Usain Bolt can succeed as a professional footballer after witnessing his development first-hand during the superstar athlete’s stint at Borussia Dortmund.

The eight-time Olympic champion is currently on trial with Australia’s Central Coast Mariners and is hoping to win a permanent contract with the A-League club over the next 12 months.

Gotze saw Bolt’s potential during a training stint at his Bundesliga club earlier this year, and thinks the 32-year-old sprint king can make the transition from athletics to football.

“I think [Bolt] can make it. I don’t really know the level of the Australian league and I don’t know the teams there,” Gotze told Omnisport.

“He is a sportsman and he has a lot of abilities that are important to be successful in football, too.”

Gotze, who scored the winning goal for Germany at the 2014 World Cup, spoke fondly of Bolt’s time at Dortmund

He also expressed his surprise at Bolt’s level of technique considering his lack of experience in the sport.

“It was very interesting to have Usain Bolt here. Just to meet him in person and to see an athlete from a different kind of sport come here to try to play soccer,” he said.

“But he did quite well. I have to admit that I expected him to be worse.

“It’s was pretty nice that he was here. Especially because of what he reached in his sport. That’s phenomenal.”

Bolt’s next chance to impress the Mariners hierarchy will come in a friendly in Wollongong on October 6.

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