Usain Bolt scores TWICE for Central Coast Mariners in final bid for professional contract
Usain Bolt's attempts to win a professional contract with Australian side Central Coast Mariners continued on Friday - with the Jamaican star scoring twice!
The eight-time Olympic champion made his first start for the A-League side in a trial match against Macarthur South West United, a game he admitted was his last chance to earn a pro deal.
Bolt has been working on his fitness during a stint with the Aussie side, for whom the clash in western Sydney was his third appearance.
He had previously managed 20 minutes against a Central Coast invitational side in August and the second half against the North Shore Mariners last month.
But Mariners coach Mike Mulvey elected to start Bolt, 32, up front in partnership with Ross McCormack, in the latest encounter.
McCormack is on loan Down Under from Aston Villa, having fallen out of favour with ex-boss Steve Bruce over his attitude and an inability to open his front gate.
While McCormack is the Mariners' most talented player, it has been the on-trial No.95 who has been the main pre-season attraction, ahead of next week's A-League kickoff.
Handed the opportunity from the off, Bolt endured something of a disappointing first period, albeit one where he went close with a late header.
But 10 minutes into the second period, he opened his account - helped by some rather dismal goalkeeping.
Latching onto a clipped ball over the top of the opposing defence, Bolt held off a challenge before firing a low strike on target - which went under the opposition keeper, Eze Consoni.
That made it 3-0 to the Mariners and, moments later, he added a second.
This time it was even more straightforward, picking up on some of the worst defending you're ever likely to see and subsequently rolling into an empty net!
Bolt exited the scene in the 75th minute to widespread applause and acknowledge his delight at scoring twice.
"My first start and scoring two goals, it's a good feeling," he told Fox Sports. "I'm happy I could come here and show the world I'm improving.
"I'm keen to be a Mariner, to play my best and get into the team."
The double is a major boost to Bolt's chances of joining the club on a permanent deal.
Speaking on Wednesday, Bolt, who has declared previously a desire to play for Manchester United and is a 9-1 shot with bookmakers' Betway to be called up by Jamaica at some point, admitted this was his last chance to impress.
And strike partner McCormack was delighted for Bolt. He said: "The best thing about Usain is he's so humble. He's fitted in well with the lads.
"From my first day even to where he is now, the transformation is huge."
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