Usain Bolt trial to channel Big Bash

The Friday night match will be televised and the club is hoping to create an 'out of the box' experience

Some have called Usain Bolt's trial with Central Coast Mariners a circus, and it's safe to say his first appearance on the football pitch will be one hell of a show.

A friendly between the Mariners and a Central Coast Select side on Friday night is expected to see Bolt play 10 to 15 minutes with Fox Sports even opting to televise the game. 

With family tickets being sold, a DJ hired and Bolt masks being handed out in the thousands, the Mariners are hoping to mimic the off-field success of Australia's short-form cricket tournament the Big Bash.

On the pitch, The Daily Telegraph reports that there was initial talk of players and even Bolt wearing microphones for the game in the vein of a Twenty20 game - something that was quickly ruled out.

While the trial won't be pushing the boundaries quite that far, Mariners CEO Shaun Mielekamp confirmed the club are hoping to benefit from an alternative approach to football. 

"We're expecting an atmosphere similar to that of a Big Bash game," Mielekamp told The Daily Telegraph.

"An experience out of the box. And I know there are football traditionalists out there who don't like it. But it was exactly the same when Twenty20 cricket arrived - it couldn't have been further from what traditionalists wanted.

"But that's exactly the sort of space we're wanting to play in with this. Usain Bolt's journey is a wonderful one...and now we want to bring people along for the ride."

Usain Bolt Central Coast Mariners

Bolt himself admitted it will be weird to see his own face in the crowd when he takes to the pitch for the first time on Friday night. 

After a tough first training session last week, Bolt's big issue continues to be his fitness with the Jamaican again struggling in his latest outing which saw him participate in a full team session for the first time.

The world's fastest man conceding he's struggling with the stop and start nature of football.

"For me, it's the stop and gos. The tic tacs," Bolt said of his biggest challenge so far.

Article continues below

"Because I'm not used to picking up speed, going up and down, back and forth. I think that's been the most challenging.

"It's all about practicing, going through the rounds, pushing myself and getting used to the system. I have time so I'm just going to take my time."