Usain Bolt’s desire to earn a professional contract with Central Coast Mariners has received some high-profile support, with Caltex Socceroos legend Tim Cahill urging patience with the Olympic champion.
Melbourne Victory marquee Keisuke Honda has also issued his support as Bolt attempts to turn his professional footballing dream into a reality in Gosford.
Bolt is on an indefinite trial with the Mariners in the hope of getting a deal to play in the Hyundai A-League.
ALL EYES ON GOSFORD: World reacts to Bolt's debut
'Lets embrace Bolt': Cahill
The world’s fastest man had his first run out for the Gosford club last Friday, with almost 10,000 fans turning out to watch the match against a Central Coast Select XI.
Cahill, who is back in Australia for the announcement of a farewell game for the Caltex Socceroos in November, said it was important to back Bolt’s ambition to make it Down Under.
"Usain Bolt is a special case. If Usain Bolt admits he is going to be ready in four months, at least he is being honest,” Cahill said.
“You have a world commercial class athlete that is probably one of the biggest faces on planet earth trying to play football - let's embrace that.
"Let's not put too much negativity on the A-League for giving someone a chance who’s being honest.
"It's key we put this [experiment] in a special box and take it for what it is."
'It would be awesome to play against him': Honda
Cahill wasn't the only big name getting behind Bolt's bid for Hyundai A-League football.
Melbourne Victory's Japanese superstar Keisuke Honda also pitched his backing toward the Jamaican.
"I didn't know when I signed with Melbourne Victory," he said.
"It would be awesome to play against him."
Meanwhile, Mariners boss Mike Mulvey is prepared to give Bolt as long as he wants to prove he deserves a professional contract.
Bolt has only been with the Mariners for a few weeks but the eight-time gold medallist appears to be having a big impact on the Mariners squad.
“He’s so humble as a guy. To have him come in the change room…he’s just been one of the boys,” Mariners striker Matt Simon told www.a-league.com.au.
“He’s having a great time and we’re enjoying having him around. We’re looking forward to seeing what he can do in the weeks ahead."
But it hasn’t all been positive for Simon, who was unlucky to be drawn against Bolt in a speed test at Mariners training.
“We matched up in pairs and I unfortunately got paired up with him (Bolt),” the ex-Sydney FC attacker said.
“Obviously he [Bolt] was the winner.”
Bolt is set to be given a full training block with the Mariners for the next few weeks before playing his next match for the club.