Usain Bolt starts his A-League adventure with brief training session

Usain Bolt has started his A-League adventure with a brief training session, explaining he settled on what is essentially a timeless trial with Central Coast after knocking back offers from Europe.

Bolt's "indefinite" training period with the Mariners kicked off at Central Coast Stadium in front of a media contingent that numbered almost 100.

A 15-minute passing drill, which Bolt completed without any terrible gaffes, was coach Mike Mulvey's only chance to judge the Jamaican sprint superstar's footballing skill.

A trial game on August 31 shapes as Bolt's likely debut but Mulvey won't rush his decision on whether the eight-time Olympic gold medallist deserves a contract.

"If it takes 12 months, I'm happy for him to be here," Mulvey told reporters.

That sort of backing is part of the reason that Bolt, who still dreams of playing for Manchester United, chose Gosford as the base for his bold bid to become a professional footballer.

"We got offers from teams in Spain, France and stuff like that," Bolt said during a 20-minute press conference that covered topics ranging from Central Coast's nightlife to his primary-school goalkeeping career.

"But for me it'd be harder because you have to learn a new language, it wasn't in the top division.

"Australia is somewhere I enjoy coming ... this is a start and I'm really appreciative of everything the Mariners have done.

"I look forward to scoring as many goals as possible and bringing home the trophy, but I'm just trying to get over the first hurdle now, that's to get a contract."

Bolt, who said he is "good at centre forward but open to playing anywhere on the park", vowed to respect Mulvey's final decision regarding a contract.

It's been just over a year since Bolt retired from athletics. He has previously trained with clubs in Germany, South Africa and Norway without being offered a contract.

Bolt conceded he was out of his comfort zone on his 32nd birthday, and not just because of the chilly wind and baking sun.

"It's just like track and field. The first day of training is always the roughest one," he said.

"You can tell how much work you need to put in but it felt OK."

Bolt tuned up for his stint by training with a Jamaican club, thanks to his relationship with former Bolton player Ricardo Gardner, but is a long way off peak condition.

The 100m world record holder regularly mopped his brow and put hands on hips as fatigue kicked in during the hit-out.

The bulk of the squad took part in a simulated match drill while Bolt did exercises under the watchful eye of Andrew Young, the Mariners' head of performance.

"I have to get fit," Bolt said.

"I'm ready to work. I know it's going to take time."

The Olympic sprint champion admits just like athletics the first day of training is the toughest. Source: 1 NEWS


'It was a bad mistake' - Brazil star apologises after spitting in face of rival

Juventus winger Douglas Costa has apologised but faces a lengthy ban after spitting in the face of Sassuolo's Federico Di Francesco during an Italian Serie A match.

The flash point came in second-half stoppage time as Juve saw out a 2-1 victory, with Cristiano Ronaldo scoring twice to get off the mark this season.

Sassuolo had just pulled a goal back through Khouma Babacar when Costa and Di Francesco squared up.

Brazilian winger Costa already looked to have lost his composure after aiming an elbow and a headbutt moments earlier but the worst was to come as he spat directly at Di Francesco from inches away.

Costa was sent off after the intervention of the video assistant referee.

Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri admitted the behaviour was unacceptable and Costa later offered his mea culpa on Instagram.

"I would like to apologise to all Juventus fans for this misleading reaction in today's game. I also apologise to my team-mates, who are always with me in beautiful and bad moments," he wrote.

"It was a bad mistake, I am aware of it and I apologise to everyone for this. I make it clear that this isolated attitude does not correspond to what I have always shown in my career."

Now Costa could see the Italian authorities clamp down on his behaviour.

"Even if he was fouled, these episodes must not happen," Allegri told reporters.

"The only thing we have to avoid doing this year is rising to the provocation.

"We had the game where we wanted it but we started playing as individuals and not as a team."

Allegri added that Costa will face club sanctions.

"It's only right that he (Costa) is fined, and he certainly will be... I was surprised by his reaction," he said.

"We have suffered a goal, a red card and a suspension which will be long."




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