Former Ireland striker Andy Keogh yesterday blasted Usain Bolt as having “a touch like a trampoline,” as the coach of the Central Coast Mariners refused to say whether he believes the sprint star can make it as a soccer player.
Keogh, who plays for Perth Glory, said it would be a “kick in the teeth” to players if the eight-time Olympic champion earns a professional contract with Australia’s Mariners.
The 32-year-old Jamaican has been on trial with the A-League club since August, but contract negotiations have stalled and he is no longer training.
Sydney’s Daily Telegraph this week reported that Bolt’s representatives were initially seeking A$3 million (US$2.11 million), but the Mariners have offered closer to A$150,000.
The Mariners have said it appears unlikely the Jamaican would sign unless a third-party agreement can be found to deliver him more money.
Keogh, who used to play for Wolves and Cardiff, was blunt in his assessment of Bolt’s prowess.
He told Fox Sports that Bolt has a touch “like a trampoline” and that “he’s not going to be able to make it.”
“It’s nice to have the attention on the A-League, but him playing in the A-League, that’s not for me,” Keogh said. “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.”
He added that “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.”
Mariners boss Mike Mulvey was peppered with questions about Bolt at a news conference yesterday, batting most of them away.
“There’s no update. He’s not at training and I’m just concentrating on the lads I have here,” he said.
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