Usain Bolt and the Central Coast Mariners have parted ways after the club failed to reach a deal with the Olympic sprint champion.
Bolt originally mentioned he was joining the Mariners for an ‘indefinite training period.’ Within his stint with them, he scored two goals in his first start for the club last month in a pre-season friendly.
‘I would like to thank the Central Coast Mariners owners, management, staff, players and fans for making me feel so welcome during my time there. I wish the club success for the season ahead,’ Bolt said, according to a statement published by the Mariners.
Olympic sprinter Usain Bolt is seen playing for A-League football club Central Coast Mariners in his first competitive start for the club in Sydney on October 12, 2018.
Shaun Mielekamp, the team’s CEO, said the decision not to retain Bolt was due to timing but didn’t close the door on bringing him back.
‘We weren’t able to come to an agreement in terms … but we’re going to keep trying to work together and keep communication, and you never say never,’ Mielekamp said.
‘We all wanted this to work. There’s no doubt that everybody from Usain to the players to the club, everybody together genuinely believed that if this was the right and if this could really make a big difference, then it would happen. The reality is it didn’t get there.’
The club tweeted its wish saying: ‘we wish @UsainBolt all the best in his future endeavours and thank him for being part of the mariner Family’
We wish @usainbolt all the best in his future endeavours and thank him for being a part of the Mariners Family.— Central Coast Mariners (@CCMariners) November 2, 2018
BREAKING NEWS: Usain Bolt Update ⚡️https://t.co/Lfi4ccmcMA#CCMFC #ALeague pic.twitter.com/Th1y8sjrvI
Soon after retiring from athletics last year, Bolt trained with Borussia Dortmund in Germany, Mamelodi Sundowns FC in South Africa, and Norwegian club Strømsgodset.
Before joining the Mariners, he said he’d had been approached by a number of lower league European clubs.
Bolt’s agent Ricky Simms mentioned last month that his client had rejected a two-year contract from Maltese Premier League champions Valletta.
Bolt’s trial with Australian A-League team garnered significant interest and press attention across the globe, something Mielekamp said was much appreciated.
‘To have our club on the world stage and in the world media was something we will forever be grateful for,’ he said. This was a great ride.’