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Bolt leaves Aussie football club after failure to strike deal

Bolt leaves Aussie football club after failure to strike deal
Usain Bolt's trial at Australian football club Central Coast Mariners has ended after efforts to find sponsors to help fund a professional contract for the sprint king failed, bringing to a close a two-month stay with the team.

Bolt’s football hopes Down Under seemed a step closer to being realized when he scored a double in a friendly earlier in October, and was later offered a contract by the club, said to be around $150,000.

However, that was well short of the $3 million that Bolt was said to be expecting, prompting the Mariners to seek “third parties” to help fund a potential deal.

READ MORE: Bolt football dream stumbles after Aussie contract offer ‘well short of $3mn demands’

The club announced on Friday that those efforts had failed, and that “the indefinite training period of Usain Bolt with the Mariners has drawn to an end, effective immediately.”

Central Coast Mariners owner Mike Charlesworth thanked Bolt for his “dedication” to the team during the trial period and wished the Jamaican “all the best in his future endeavors.”

The eight-time Olympic champion reciprocated by thanking the Mariners for “making me feel so welcome,” adding: “I wish the club success for the season ahead.”

Bolt had not been added to the club’s roster of registered A-League players, meaning he would have been sidelined from official games until at least January, had he been taken on.

The 32-year-old was earlier offered a guaranteed two-year deal by Maltese club Valletta, which he rejected.

READ MORE: Bolt turns down 2-year deal with Champions League hopefuls

The club said at the time that the proposal would “remain on the table,” should the world 100m and 200m record holder reconsider.

Bolt has yet to signal what his next steps will be. 

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