Wellington Phoenix have mixed emotions about Usain Bolt's arrival in A League

The Wellington Phoenix are in two minds about the possibility of going up against the world's fastest man.

Phoenix general manager David Dome told reporters today the arrival of Usain Bolt for his indefinite trial with the Central Coast Mariners was a peculiar situation that players and fans alike would see view in a plethora of ways.

"There's no doubt the guy can kick a ball," Dome said.

"He's not absolutely clueless - he does have some level of skill."

But while Dome respected the former sprinter's ability, he said the same may not go for others.

"Some players will embrace it with one of the most famous sports people in the world bringing attention to their league while others won't see it quite so positively...but if you talk to ten players you might get 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."

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

When asked if the Phoenix pursued the Jamaican, Dome said the Kiwi club were never given the chance in the first place.

"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."

The Mariners are not putting a timeline on how long they will give Bolt to prove himself before deciding whether to offer a contract or not but head coach Mike Mulvey expects it to be 12 months.

"This guy is a winner," he said at yesterday'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.

The Olympic champion is in Australia to trial with the A-League's Central Coast Mariners.


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Maradona unveiled as coach of struggling Mexican team based in hometown of notorious drug cartel

Diego Maradona today insisted he had left his off-the-pitch issues behind.

The Argentine football legend spoke as he was formally introduced as the new coach of Mexican second-tier club Dorados de Sinaloa.

The 57-year-old has publicly struggled in the past with alcohol and drug addiction.

But he told reporters he would take his new job seriously, and hadn't come to Mexico for a holiday.

His new club is located in Culiacan, considered the heart of the Sinaloa cartel, one of Mexico's most powerful drug smuggling gangs.

Some critics have described Maradona's new role as a publicity stunt for the team and a last-ditch effort to resurrect his career.

Maradona will reportedly earn $US150,000 a month to coach players who have complained of missed paychecks.

A Dorados club representative could not be reached to confirm or deny the salary or missed payments.

The Argentine football legend was formally introduced as the new coach of Mexican second-tier club Dorados de Sinaloa. Source: Associated Press


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Usain Bolt granted leave from Central Coast Mariners duty

Usain Bolt's fledgling football career at the Central Coast Mariners is taking a quick break, with the sporting superstar to leave the country for a week.

In a statement, the A-League club said Bolt would jet out to an unnamed location tomorrow.

"After completing his first three weeks of training with the Central Coast Mariners, the club wishes to advise that Usain Bolt will be abroad from Sunday 9 September to Sunday 16 September for a previously planned commitment," the Mariners said in a statement.

"This commitment was agreed between Usain Bolt and the Central Coast Mariners before his training period commenced with the club."

Bolt made his debut for the club when he came on in the closing stages of a trial match against a Central Coast select side earlier this month.

He played just over 20 minutes in the 6-1 win.

"I think the big fellow did OK," Mariners coach Mike Mulvey said of Bolt after that game.

"He was on a hiding to nothing a little bit nervous, but I'm quite happy with him.'

Usain Bolt
Usain Bolt Source: Photosport


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TODAY'S
FEATURED STORIES

TVNZ FC: The mighty Watford, Heraf claims ‘Hitler’ jibe, and are Barcelona in the group of death?

This week on the TVNZ Football Club, we look at the latest twist in the Andreas Heraf saga after he told Austrian media he was compared to Hitler while in NZ.

And in England, we focus on the mighty Watford, who are unbeaten after four games - who saw that coming?

At the other end of the table, former Premier League winner Manuel Pellegrini could be the first managerial casualty of the season, if West Ham lose again after the dreaded international break.

Barcelona again showed how deep the quality goes in La Liga... winning 8-2 against new boys huesca.

But our panellists ask if they’re in the group of death in the Champions League.

And how come Lionel Messi is getting passed over for all the big awards?

Elsewhere, there’s Neymar's fake tears and the bizarre story of Denmark drafting in some futsal players to play Wales in an international tie.

* The show is also available on the 1 News Facebook and YouTube pages, and as a podcast in all the usual places - just search for "TVNZ Football Club".

Jack Tame is in for Chris Chang this week, with Victor Waters and Simon Plumb dissecting the big (and less big) issues in the world of football. Source: 1 NEWS


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Former Football Ferns coach Andreas Heraf criticises NZ media, claims he was compared to Adolf Hitler

Former Football Ferns coach Andreas Heraf has slammed New Zealand media, alleging he was vilified and compared to Adolf Hitler.

Heraf, 50, resigned from New Zealand Football in July from his role as head coach of New Zealand women's football team, after an investigation into the team environment and culture.

He spoke to Sky Sports Austria and said there was a culture of discrimination against foreigners by New Zealanders.

"From the beginning, you have felt this resistance to foreigners throughout the country. I have to say that very clearly," Heralf told Sky Sports Austria.

"I can prove it and that was the reason why I left the country. The newspapers that massively attacked me, compared me to Adolf Hitler, the Austrian dictator. These are things that go too far," he said.

Players and stakeholders alike expect the entire organisation to firm up after the saga. Source: 1 NEWS

He said he never tried to intentionally bully players in the Football Ferns team and criticised the losing mentality in New Zealand Football.

"I have a pure heart, a clear conscience.

"Many things happened in New Zealand that were a meeting of different cultures.

"For example, participation is capitalised and performance is almost non-existent.

"For example, the ladies have participated in four world championships and have never won a game.

"On the other hand, there is this incredible belief and will of the entire population that you can win everything. I've explained to the team and the people that you cannot win five or six games in three weeks, if you've never won before.

Maia Jackman feels NZ Football could move forward 'leaps and strides' after today's announcement. Source: 1 NEWS

"It was difficult to understand this culture."

Heraf was the subject of 13 letters of complaint from New Zealand players, with claims of bullying and scare tactics around the Football Ferns' 3-1 loss to Japan in June and previous tour of Spain.

NZF President Deryck Shaw said controversial coach Andreas Heraf has gone on "special leave" while the investigation is carried out.
Source: 1 NEWS


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