Usain Bolt set to make first start as a professional footballer

Bolt has played 20 minutes of pro football, but only from the bench. (AFP)
Updated 10 October 2018
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Usain Bolt set to make first start as a professional footballer

SYDNEY: Usain Bolt looks set to make his first start as a professional footballer tomorrow, a challenge he said could determine if he has a future in football.
Bolt said the coach of his Central Coast Mariners, Mike Mulvey, had indicated he would be in the starting line-up in a friendly against Macarthur South West United in Sydney.
“For me, that’s always a good step, when the coach is satisfied with your fitness to put you in the starting line up — that’s always a big step,” Bolt said.
“I am just happy to get the chance and go out there and start, and do my best because that is the key thing.”
The eight-time Olympic champion made his footballing debut in late August in a 20-minute cameo as a substitute on the left wing, nearly scoring but tiring quickly — the fitness needed for football being different to that of out-and-out sprinting.
Bolt said he had improved his fitness since, and expected to spend more time up front.
“My movement and my touch is much better now,” he said.
“I’ve learnt how to set my body and where to place the ball.”
The A-League has been struggling in recent years with fewer fans and dwindling TV ratings, with football chiefs hoping the arrival of big names like Bolt will boost local interest.
The 100m world record holder said he expected some nerves when out on the pitch, but was excited by the opportunity to prove his worth as a footballer.
“This will be a big game. I think it will determine if the club makes up its mind on what to do with my career. So for me it’s a very important game,” he said.
“I’m looking forward to proving myself.”


‘My feelings? Mixed’: Sebastian Vettel clings on in desperate Lewis Hamilton pursuit as Kimi Raikonnen wins US Grand Prix

Updated 22 October 2018
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‘My feelings? Mixed’: Sebastian Vettel clings on in desperate Lewis Hamilton pursuit as Kimi Raikonnen wins US Grand Prix

AUSTIN: Sebastian Vettel said he felt mixed emotions after keeping his slender title challenge alive by finishing fourth in Sunday’s United States Grand Prix, won by Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen.
The four-time champion, who started fifth on the grid after taking a three-place penalty, recovered from an opening lap spin to fight through the field in a tactical contest that left Lewis Hamilton frustrated in his bid to clinch his fifth drivers world title.
“My feelings? Mixed,” he said. “Happy. Really happy for Kimi. But not much for me. It should have been a better day.”
Vettel can only stop Hamilton taking his fifth drivers title next weekend in Mexico by winning the race and hoping Hamilton hits problems that keep him out of the top seven places.
He said he suffered a major blow when he clashed with Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo on the opening lap.
“I must have been in his blind spot. I’m not sure he saw me. The corner kept tightening and we hit. It was a big loss for me.”
Vettel’s disappointment took nothing away from a resurgent Ferrari’s satisfaction in recovering their mid-season pace, after abandoning several recent upgrades, and claiming a revitalising victory.
“I am very proud of them all,” said Ferrari team chief Maurizio Arrivabene.
“I was always proud of the guys and even more when we are winning races. It’s been hard for us recently and we had a race engineer pass away last weekend.... I have nothing more to add. It was great today. Thank you USA!“
Mercedes team chief Toto Wolff admitted that Ferrari had been faster than his team, as he had feared.
“We lacked the pace and I said don’t close it too early. They are very fast. Kimi winning is great for him and for Ferrari, so let’s go to the next race in Mexico now.
“It was difficult to overtake, but for us it was a strategy that got worse as it progressed. We need to re-think and see what we can do better. We put on a good show altogether and that’s what’s more important.”