Usain Bolt is never going to realise his dream of making it as a professional footballer in part because he has a first touch “like a trampoline”, according to Perth Glory striker and former Republic of Ireland international Andy Keogh.
The sprint legend has been offered a £120,000 professional contract by A-League club Central Coast Mariners after a two-month trial, according to reports in Australia. However, it falls well short of the £2.3 million Bolt and his representatives are said to be requesting.
Bolt’s presence in Australia has brought a lot of welcome attention to the start of the new A-League season, but Keogh sees little footballing merit in any permanent arrangement with the Jamaican.
“It’s nice to have the attention on the A-League but him playing in the A-League, that’s not for me,” Keogh told Irish radio show ‘Off the Ball’. “For me, he’s not going to be able to make it [as a footballer].
“He’s shown a bit [of potential] but it’s a little bit of a kick in the teeth to the professionals that are in the league. From what I’ve seen, [his first touch] is like a trampoline, so I’m not too sure.”
Mariners’ interest in signing Bolt appears to be primarily driven by their British entrepreneur owner Mike Charlesworth, and coach Mike Mulvey said he was unaware that a contract had been offered to the Olympic gold medallist after their A-League opener against Brisbane Roar on Sunday.
“If there’s someone who genuinely thinks he’d be a good football addition, I don’t think they should be in a position to make those calls,” Keogh added.
“It’s fine from a marketing point of view but from a football perspective, it’s a little bit farcical.”
Keogh also accused Bolt of inconsistency by holding out for a lucrative contract offer after insisting that his dream was simply to make it as a professional footballer.