Usain Bolt is set to start up front for the Central Coast Mariners in a trial match on Friday, and the Olympic sprint champion says his future as a professional football player could be on the line.
The 32-year-old made his debut for the Australian side in August, coming on as a substitute in the 72nd minute.
Bolt is hoping to win a contract with the Mariners ahead of the 2018/19 top-flight campaign and believes Friday’s game is crucial to the club’s decision on his future.
“This will determine… [what] the club want to do with my career, so it’s a very important game,” Bolt said.
“I have been improving but you won’t know what level you’re at until you play a competitive game so I just have to go out there and see what I need to do or whether I should continue or not.
“I’m just pushing myself and have put in the work so now I have to go out there and execute.”
Bolt said that coach Mike Mulvey had told him he was likely to start Friday’s game against Macarthur South West United and that he would be deployed in a more forward role than on his initial appearance.
“He said he wants me to play me up top,” Bolt added.
“He just told me to make sure that I’m focused to push myself and just take my chances when I get them.”
Bolt feels his fitness and skill has improved after playing a series of practice games with other players hoping to make the first-team squad.
“My movement and my touch is much better now. How to set my body, where to place the ball,” Bolt said.
“There is a lot of things I have learned. I am much fitter now so I will have more time on the field and that’s good.”