Bolt contract ‘a kick in the teeth’

THE Central Coast Mariners still haven’t heard from Usain Bolt about his contact, but a former international striker said the talk around his contract is “a kick in the teeth”.

Andy Keogh, a former Ireland striker who is currently playing for the Perth Glory, blasted Bolt for having “a touch like a trampoline” on Friday and branded talk of him getting a professional contract as insulting to footballers who have trained their whole lives in the sport.

Keogh, who used to play for Wolves and Cardiff, was blunt in his assessment of Bolt’s footballing prowess.

He told Fox Sports the 100m world-record holder had a touch “like a trampoline” and that “he’s not going to be able to make it”.

“It’s nice to have the attention on the A-League but him playing in the A-League, that’s not for me,” said Keogh, who made 30 appearances for his country.

“He’s shown a bit (of potential) but it’s a little bit of a kick in the teeth to the professionals that are in the league.

“If there’s someone who genuinely thinks he’d be a good football addition, I don’t think they should be in a position to make those calls.”

Bolt’s powerful sprinters leg may not be helping with his football finesse.Source:AFP

The eight-time Olympic champion has been trialling with the Mariners since August in the hopes of earning a professional contract in the A-League.

He had a breakout performance in the side’s last trial game before the start of the A-League season with a two-goal performance at Campbelltown.

It was revealed earlier this week the 32-year-old Jamaican had been offered a contract but negotiations have stalled and he is no longer training.

Bolt, who retired from athletics last year, has previously tried out with clubs in Germany, South Africa and Norway and he recently turned down a two-year, trial-free deal from cashed-up Maltese champions Valletta.

The Daily Telegraph reported this week Bolt’s representatives were initially seeking $3 million, but the Mariners have offered closer to $150,000.

The Mariners have said it appears unlikely the Jamaican will sign unless a third-party agreement can be found to deliver him more money.

Bolt was a hit with the fans, bringing big crowds to the Mariners’ pre-season.Source:Getty Images

Central Coast Mariners coach Mike Mulvey refused to say whether he believes the sprint star can make it as a footballer.

Mulvey was peppered with questions about Bolt at a press conference Friday, batting most of them away.

“There’s no update. He’s not at training and I’m just concentrating on the lads I have here,” he said, insisting the Bolt saga was not a distraction.

Pressed on whether Bolt had the ability to make it as a footballer, he replied: “I’ll say this one more time — my focus is on the game on Saturday and on the players contracted for the Central Coast Mariners and that is how it should be.”

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