From Bolt to Woolies: Nisbet's path to being the A-League's shortest ever player

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It's been a rollercoaster few months for the Mariners teenager

Standing at 158 centimetres tall, Josh Nisbet is officially the shortest player to ever grace the A-League but don't let his lack of height fool you - the Central Coast Mariner is more than ready to step up. 

The 19-year-old midfielder made his A-League debut against Newcastle Jets in January but caught the eye in pre-season as he found himself standing next to the world's fastest man.

Usain Bolt and Nisbet were brought on at the same time in a trial match as they got their first of action with the Mariners senior side.

While the Jamaican stole Nisbet's spotlight to some extent, it's a moment the teenager won't be forgetting anytime soon.

"It was an awesome experience and it’s kind of an iconic photo now that I look back at it," Nisbet told Goal.

"He’s an incredible bloke and athlete."

The photo of the pair as they were brought on turned a number of heads with Bolt's lanky figure highlighting Nisbet's smaller frame.

While something others have noticed, height isn't something Nisbet's let hold him back as he commits to his dream of being a professional footballer.

"Obviously there’s benefits and disadvantages of being shorter but it’s never really fazed me, it’s mainly other people who believe you need to be taller," he said.

"Never bothered me and the coaches now obviously don’t believe it either.

"When I was younger a lot of coaches said you need to be taller or you’ll be better when you’re taller. A lot of doubt whether it would work out because of my height but look at me now."

Though a number of coaches did question Nisbet's potential, one who didn't was Ben Cahn, who lured the midfielder to the Central Coast when he was the club's youth coach.

"I played my junior football in Queensland," Nisbet said.

"Ben Cahn brought me down and said we’d give you a run in the A-League if you put in the work.

"He’s a very good coach, got a lot of potential and it was great he was able to take me under his wing." 

Nisbet has very quickly rewarded Cahn's faith and after getting his first taste of A-League action in January was rewarded with a full-time contract by the Mariners.

It was a life-changing moment for the teenager who got the call as he tried juggling his life off the pitch. 

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"I was working at Woolworths when the phone call came," he said.

"That was a pretty great feeling but I was in the middle of work so had to go back to it. The bosses knew it was good news as soon as they saw me."

While his days at Woolworths look numbered, Nisbet's football future looks like it could go the distance and it's young players like him that is giving another disappointing season for Central Coast some silver-lining.

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