Usain Bolt is going to push himself “to the limit” when he makes his Central Coast Mariners debut on Friday.
The Olympic sprint champion and world-record holder is currently having an indefinite trial with the Mariners as he bids to earn himself a sport-swapping contract for the forthcoming A-League season.
The 32-year-old Jamaican is set to play a part against Central Coast Football in a trial game this Friday and though he admits he will be nervous, he is ready to prove he has serious football credentials.
“This week we are trying to get me through the full (training) programme, get me up to pace, because this Friday I get the chance to play a little bit so I have got to get up the pace,” he told a press conference on Tuesday.
“I don’t know how my body is going to feel, I know when I get on the field I am going to push myself to the limit, it’s just about work. The season doesn’t start until October, so I have time, and it’s about being smart.
“There will be nerves, it’s not like it’s a charity game anymore. There will be nerves, I expect to make mistakes but I also expect to make myself proud and to push myself.”
Bolt has trained with several clubs around the world since quitting the athletics track, trying to make good of a lifelong ambition to be a professional footballer.
The likes of Borussia Dortmund, Stromsgodset and Mamelodi Sundowns have all taken Bolt in before, but this trial with the Mariners represents a serious opportunity.
“I think they are pretty happy with the effort I am putting in, I am doing what they say,” added Bolt, who has been working out on the left wing.
“I can feel the improvement, which is why we are going through the full programme with the guys. It shows I am getting better.”
The Portuguese coach is under increasing pressure at Old Trafford after a summer of discontent in the transfer market put his relationship with the club’s board and CEO Ed Woodward under extreme pressure.
Rumours about his future also gathered pace after a narrow 2-1 Premier League opening day victory over Leicester was followed by a woeful performance and a 3-2 defeat at Brighton last weekend.
Despite the drama engulfing Old Trafford, United’s board still support Mourinho – though Zidane is their first choice should the situation with the Portuguese coach deteriorate further.
Zidane surprisingly left Real Madrid earlier this summer after winning three straight Champions League titles at the Bernabeu.
Were United to replace Mourinho with Zidane, The Telegraph report that the decision would have a number of supporters within the dressing room, notably Pogba and Martial.
Pogba and Mourinho have had a number of run-ins, including a high profile bust-up last season that resulted in the Frenchman being benched for a sustained period after a poor run of form.
The pair have argued over his performances and best position, while the midfielder has even sought a transfer away such is the toxicity of their relationship.
Martial, similarly, came close to leaving Old Trafford over the summer after growing frustrated with his lack of game time since Alexis Sanchez’s arrival in January, while he has also been criticised regularly by his manager.
The latest run-in was when the sulky French forward failed to return to the club’s tour of the United States after the birth of his son.
The prospect of playing under France legend Zidane is said to appeal to both players.
Zidane came close to signing Pogba two years ago only for his compatriot to choose to return to Manchester.
Then in charge of Real, Zidane explained: “Do I like Pogba? Of course, he’s a very good player and every club wants the best players but right now he’s at Juve and we have a large squad already.”
World Cup 2018 qualifiers Nigeria have escaped the threat of a ban by FIFA linked to potential governmental interference.
The FIFA-approved head of its national federation (NFF), Amaju Pinnick, had been threatened with being displaced by Chris Giwa.
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