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'600 million people'- Mariners reap rewards of Usain Bolt trial with January marquee being considered

10:29 AM IST 02/11/18
Mike Mulvey Usain Bolt
Central Coast believe the sprint king was well worth their effort

It was a trial that brought headlines around the world and Central Coast Mariners have no regrets over Usain Bolt's trial with the club.

No agreement could be made between the two over a contract with a lack of suitable commercial options seeing the sprint king officially depart the club on Friday.

Despite suggestions neither party were all that keen on a putting pen to paper, Mariners CEO Shaun Mielekamp stressed everything was done in an attempt to make Bolt a Mariner. 

"There is an area of regret that this huge opportunity wasn't able to be maximised," Mielekamp said. 

"There's no doubt we all wanted this to work. There's no doubt that everyone from Usain, to the players, to the club - everybody together genuinely thought if this was the right fit and this could make a big difference then it would happen.

"There's no regret from what happened. This was a great ride." 

A ride it most certainly was for the club, who have gone from a small A-League club to one known around the world.

"The main increase for us has been in the exposure," Mielekamp said.

"I think the last numbers I saw was the story reached 600 million people around the world which is just fantastic.

"As a club we've grown there's no doubt."

While Bolt has slipped through their fingers, Central Coast have still got a foriegn spot available and a bit of money to spend.

Mielekamp admitting the club may pursue another potentially eye-catching signing in January.

"It's part of our brand to think outside the box," he said.

"We've shown we can handle a marquee player. In the current climate I believe we've shown the A-League and the Australian media and public that if a big name does come on to the table the Mariners brand is one that should be considered.

"We'll see what January looks like. There's opportunities in January for all clubs and we'll definitely be considering our options when it comes to that."