'Add a little bit of skill' - Bolt given hope over Jamaica call-up

Comments()
The Olympic sprint king and world record holder has long held footballing ambitions - now he could get a chance to play for his country

Usian Bolt has been told to add some skill to his lightning speed to win a place in the Jamaica national team.

The retired sprinter - who holds the world-record at 100m and 200m and a eight-time Olympic gold medalist - has been trying to launch a football career.

Reports suggest he has priced himself out of a modest contract offer from Australian club Central Coast Mariners, despite scoring twice in a recent friendly for the A-League outfit.

He has had his fair share of critics, however, with Perth Glory striker Andy Keogh recently slamming the 32-year-old for having a "touch like a trampoline".

However, Jamaican FA President Michael Ricketts believes the national hero could be an asset to his country - if he can develop some footballing finesse. 

"Usain has a special attribute in his speed," he told ESPN FC.

"If he can add a little bit of skill, some flair, he could supplement this Jamaican team. The players would certainly welcome someone like Usain. I have had informal discussions with some of them and they are excited at the prospect of playing with Usain.

"If he can make the transition from being a superstar on the track to being a good enough football player, then we will certainly call him up.

"We are presently in a competition, the Nations League. After the Nations League, we go into the Gold Cup. By then we will have had a chance to look at him and we'll be in a position to make a decision."

Ricketts admitted, though, that he was frustrated Bolt - who was also offered a deal by Maltese club Valletta - hadn't joined a club in his home country.

Usain Bolt Central Coast Mariners

"I am a little disappointed that Usain hasn't signed up with a Jamaican club," he added. "That would give us a chance to see a lot more of him.

"The coach will make a decision but we would love to see him in a serious, real match situation.

"We are hopeful because Usain would certainly be a crowd-puller. If he turns up in a Jamaican outfit then a lot of people would want to turn up and watch Usain Bolt play football."

Article continues below

Bolt has harboured a dream - not always realistically - of becoming a footballer since before his decision to quit athletics.

In 2016 he said: "If I could get to play for Manchester United, that would be like a dream come true. Yes, that would be epic."

He trained with German giants Borussia Dortmund, South African club Sundowns and Norway's Stromsgodset before linking up with the Mariners in August.

Next article:
Coman back in Bayern training but Lewandowski has knee injury
Next article:
‘Replacing Ramsey better than paying him’ – Wright supports Arsenal contract call
Next article:
Meet Bukayo Saka: The latest Arsenal academy star making a name for himself
Next article:
Juventus chairman claims no super league talks since 2015
Next article:
'Milan should definitely sign Ibrahimovic’ – Swoop for Swede backed by club legend Albertini
Close