Usain Bolt makes professional football debut in Australia

Usain Bolt, Jamaica’s sprinter turned footballer, has made his first appearance as a professional footballer in a pre-season friendly in Australia.

Bolt, who has been trialling with Australia’s A-League club Central Coast Mariners since last week, debuted against an amateur side at the club’s stadium in Gosford, 80km north of Sydney, in front of more than 12,000 people.

Bolt took on the field with a smile in the 71st minute, wearing jersey number 95, after the crowd chanted “We want Bolt”.

The Mariners had already scored six goals by the time Bolt came on as a left winger.

Bolt has been training with the club for an “indefinite training period” and the 32-year-old admitted earlier this week he was struggling with the physical demands of professional football.

“I know I’m not going to have a perfect game,” the eight-time Olympic gold medallist and 11-time world champion said on Tuesday.

Coach Mike Mulvey has said Bolt has “rudimentary skills” and was “doing ok” but would take some time “to adjust”.

The 100 and 200-metre world record holder Bolt ended his running career last year and has been trying to start a new career as a professional footballer, trialling with German, Norwegian and South African teams.