Jamaica chief tips Bolt for call-up if he adds 'flair' to his game

Jamaica could give Usain Bolt an international call-up before long, but its Football Federation's president wants to see improvements.

Published : Nov 01, 2018 00:11 IST

Usain Bolt playing for the Central Coast Mariners
Usain Bolt playing for the Central Coast Mariners

Usain Bolt playing for the Central Coast Mariners

Usain Bolt could force his way into Jamaica's national team if he adds "a little bit of skill" and impresses while playing for a club side, according to the country's Football Federation president Michael Ricketts.

The eight-time Olympic gold medallist and world-record holder over 100 and 200 metres has long held a desire to make a permanent switch to football and began training with A-League side Central Coast Mariners in August.

His association with the Mariners saw him make appearances in friendly matches, while the club even offered him a full-time contract.

READ: Andy Keogh: Bolt has 'touch like a trampoline'

That deal was reportedly turned down, with Mariners boss Mike Mulvey claiming negotiations were "ongoing" despite Bolt now being absent from training.

However, Ricketts – who wants him to represent a Jamaican club – has given Bolt a reason to not give up on his dream, with international recognition seemingly within reach.

"I am a little disappointed that Usain hasn't signed up with a Jamaican club. That would give us a chance to see a lot more of him," he told ESPN .

ALSO READ: Bolt offered contract by Central Coast Mariners

"If he shows he's good enough to make the Jamaican team then he will be called up, but we are following his progress - we are watching him closely. The coach will make a decision, but we would love to see him in a serious, real match situation."

"We are hopeful because Usain would certainly be a crowd puller. If he turns up in a Jamaican outfit, then a lot of people would want to turn up and watch Usain Bolt play football."

"Usain has a special attribute in his speed. If he can add a little bit of skill, some flair, he could supplement this Jamaican team."

ALSO READ: Sanya Richards-Ross: Usain Bolt the greatest sprinter of all time

"The players would certainly welcome someone like Usain. I have had informal discussions with some of them and they are excited at the prospect of playing with Usain."

"If he can make the transition from being a superstar on the track to being a good enough football player, then we will certainly call him up."

"We are presently in a competition, the Nations League. After the Nations League, we go into the Gold Cup. By then we will have had a chance to look at him and we'll be in a position to make a decision."

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