It was the game we have all been waiting for, an off season trial game between Central Coast Mariners and Central Coast Select, featuring a star that has never played football before…..
No one told Clisby the game was not about him, as he scored within the opening minute. It was about Bolt warming up on the sidelines, as Fox dedicated a corner of the screen to Bolt sitting on the bench whilst the game actually unfolded. It was no surprise to see Bolt with the number 95 on his back with his sprinting record being 9.58, but to have a crowd number of 9958?! I’m a little worried they may have reached their magic number then turned people away.
Meanwhile back on the pitch CCM were having an easy time of it and were up 5-0 at the break .
Then the moment we had all been waiting for finally arrived at the 72nd minute mark, the match went to full tv screen size! Oh and Usain Bolt was subbed on, he ran 100m then puffed and panted and sweated enough you could have wrung him out into a bucket. He ran to the sideline to have his necklace taken off clearly not used to the no jewellery rule. I thought he looked like a young giraffe, taller than everybody else, but lacking the graceful skills and footwork of those that have spent their life on a football pitch.
Bolt had a few runs forward, but somehow he was too slow to cover and reach the through ball to the back post. Given the light show when he came on I shudder to think what they would have done if he had scored. Bolt even managed to control the ball once or twice and pass it to a team mate. Post match Mulvey said Bolt didn’t disgrace himself, Bolt can’t ask for more than that in his first outing.
The final score was 6-1 and whilst football may not have done much for Bolt let’s see what Bolt has done for football. If we ignore an A-League team giving an indefinite trial to someone who has never played the game before but has a dream, getting more time than every footballer working hard for the same dream, we can turn to the positives that an A-League friendly was televised not only in Australia but 60 countries. I choose to think they are impressed by us and not sniggering beyond our backs.