Bolt makes football debut, tires quickly

first_img0Shares0000Usain Bolt tired quickly in his football debut for Australian club Central Coast Mariners © AFP / Andrew MurrayGosford, Australia, Aug 31 – Sprint king Usain Bolt fulfilled a boyhood dream Friday in making his much-anticipated football debut, exciting fans but tiring quickly in a 20-minute cameo for Australia’s Central Coast Mariners.The Jamaican superstar, a huge Manchester United fan, has been handed a chance to train with the A-League side for an indefinite period in a bid to prove he has what it takes to earn a professional playing contract. His arrival has generated a massive buzz at the club’s base in Gosford, 75 kilometres (47 miles) north of Sydney, and some 10,000 people packed the Central Coast Stadium — a virtually unprecedented turnout for a pre-season game.It wasn’t quite Old Trafford but there was a lively atmosphere with a brass band on hand to get the crowd going.“It’s a wonderful moment to play at a high level, in professional football,” Bolt said after the Mariners beat an amateur side 6-1.“It was good, it was what I expected. The crowd gave me a big ovation which I really appreciated. I was a little bit nervous but as soon as I got on the field the nerves went.”After only a handful of training sessions since arriving last week, the fastest man on earth watched avidly from the bench as the Mariners began dismantling the Central Coast select side.He didn’t have long to wait to celebrate with his team getting on the scoresheet barely 20 seconds after kick off thanks to a sweet strike by Jack Clisby from the edge of the box.They were 5-0 up at a half-time and a massacre seemed imminent, but the part-timers battled hard in the second half.The eight-time Olympic champion wore gloves and appeared relaxed, despite his nerves, as he followed the match intently.On a chilly night, he stayed warm on the sidelines by stretching and jogging with the 32-year-old happily giving the thumbs up and high-fives to fans.– Get up to speed –The 100 metres and 200m world record holder made his entrance after 71 minutes © AFP / Andrew MurrayWearing the number 95 shirt in a nod to his 100m world record time, he finally made his entrance after 71 minutes to huge cheers from the crowd and fireworks.Starting on the left wing, he fluffed his first touch, making a run on the inside only for the through ball to hit him on the heel. He got himself in the box soon after but a cross whipped in from the left went over his head.Playing more centrally he didn’t getting much of a look in, jumping for another cross that again sailed high.His best touch came 10 minutes after coming on when he controlled a bobbling ball with his right foot, rode a challenge and laid it off with his left foot.Before the game Bolt admitted he was not match fit and pouring with sweat he tired quickly before a late flurry, narrowly failing to get on the end of a low cross after a sprint into the box, and then having a shot blocked.“I wish I had more touches but I’m not fit yet,” he said. “I’ve just got to put in the work, get up to speed and I’m looking forward to a great season.”Bolt, who retired from athletics last year, has previously tried out with clubs in Germany, South Africa and Norway to no avail, with the Mariners hoping to turn him into A-League material for when the season starts in late October.Former Australian international Robbie Slater, who was watching the game, said he still had plenty of work to do.“He was short of a gallop when it comes to match fitness,” he said. “He made some nice little runs, but obviously he needs to learn some more about when he should make the runs and where. He should also have more confidence to go and get the ball.“But look, it’s a special moment for him.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Benitez insists he did not hear jeers from Chelsea fans

first_imgNew manager Rafael Benitez insisted he did not hear his hostile reception from Chelsea fans.Benitez, hugely unpopular among the Blues faithful from his time as Liverpool boss, was loudly jeered.But, speaking after the 0-0 draw against Manchester City, he said he was unaffected by the reaction.“I can guarantee you because I am focused on the game I don’t hear the crowd,” he stated.“My focus is on the team and on the pitch. I was not listening. I was concentrating on the game.“It was a tough game against a top team. To see the mentality and work-rate of the players was quite positive.“Clearly you could see they were trying hard with and without the ball. You could see everyone tried to help each other.”More reaction to follow later.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 Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

Focus on Cincinnati: Can 49ers handle ‘new’ Bengals?

first_imgDon’t be fooled by another Cincinnati loss on Sunday, these aren’t the same Bengals who’ve wallowed in or near the AFC North cellar the past three seasons.Energized by young (36 years old) and innovative head coach Zac Taylor, who was on Sean McVay’s Rams staff the past two years, the surprising Bengals nearly upset the Seahawks in Seattle, ultimately falling 21-20. They’ve got a new-found passing attack, engineered by first-year offensive coordinator Brian Callahan, the former De La Salle …last_img read more

Play Your Part heads to Mpumalanga to encourage youth entrepreneurship

first_imgJohannesburg, Wednesday 31 July 2019 – Brand South Africa’s Play Your Part programme, in partnership with the Youth Economic Alliance, will host Grade 11 and 12 High School learners, as well as young entrepreneurs in Mpumalanga, to engage in a community outreach activity, themed “turn your ideas into currencies”.The Youth Economic Alliance Non-profit Company (YEA), is an entity established to drive the development and advancement of youth entrepreneurship. It champions youth entrepreneurship through targeted programmes that collectively address the unemployment problem among youth (particularly in previously disadvantaged backgrounds) by providing them with opportunities to develop their businesses, as well as providing access to resources and linkages needed to realize their potential, as young social and economic entrepreneurs.The Deputy Minister in the Presidency, Ms Thembi Siweya will give the keynote address. Deputy Minister Siweya is a youth activist and a philanthropist who is very passionate about promoting a culture of reading and writing.The outreach activity will emphasize the importance of active citizenship with a focus on how young people can support their communities.The conversation on Play Your Part will seek to identify innovative solutions and opportunities big or small for the community. This is to encourage and guide them on how to leverage opportunities in entrepreneurship towards a progressive frame of thinking and action.Media is invited to attend. Details are as follows:Date: Saturday, 3rd August 2019Time: 12h00 -15h00Venue: Bongisimbi Comprehensive SchoolThomas Mahlangu4052 Thys Jonker StreetAckervilleeMalahleniFor more information please contact Ms Ntombi Ntanzintombin@brandsouthafrica.com or 064 890 6819Follow the conversation on @PlayYourPartSA #PlayYourPart #GetInvolved.last_img read more

Newly-appointed ICC vice-president promises to end corruption from cricket

first_imgMoments after being appointed the vice president of the International Cricket Council (ICC ), AHM Mustafa Kamal on Tuesday made it clear that eradicating corruption in the gentleman’s game was one of his main aims in the near future.Initially, Kamal was set to be appointed during ICC’s Annual General Meeting in Kuala Lumpur in June, but his nomination was delayed and only the position of ICC president was filled, with Alan Isaac taking over from Sharad Pawar.In the wake of the recent controversy, where an Indian channel has exposed umpires’ willingness to fix games and pass vital information to bookies in exchange for money, Kamal said that no stone would be left unturned to ensure the game is not only played in the true spirit, but also adjudicated in an impartial manner. Speaking to Mail Today from Colombo, Kamal said: “The ICC maintains a zero-tolerance policy against corruption and now, with startling revelations about umpires too being involved in fixing, the noose has to be tightened further to ensure there is no scope to even think about crossing the line of fair play.”The ACSU (Anti-Corruption and Security Unit) of the ICC has been doing its best to ensure that fixing is wiped out from the system and every person involved with the game has been given strict instructions about what amounts to dishonesty and bringing the game to disrepute. I will personally join hands with them to ensure a corruption-free game.”Kamal further felt that if the umpires – often considered the ultimate authority on the field – have indeed stooped down to bribery and corruption, things will only get more difficult. He believes this needs to be nipped in the bud.”Players are sometimes lured because they are young and wish to live a flamboyant life way beyond their names. But if umpires too go that way, the situation worsens further. If the guardians of the game themselves falter, it sets a very negative example for the others. But first we need to investigate and see if they are guilty,” he said. Coming to his own appointment, Kamal said that it is a huge day not only for him, but also for Bangladesh cricket. “I am overwhelmed at being considered fit to hold such an important position. I feel this is not only an honour for me, but also Bangladesh cricket and the people of our country. It shows that we are taken just as seriously as the other top nations playing the game. I wish to bring repute to the nation through this appointment,” he said. Kamal also said that the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) is looking to finalise a fullfledged tour of India next year. Although India participated in the first Test Bangladesh ever played, the eastern neighbour has never toured India.”The BCB is in talks with its Indian counterpart to ensure that Bangladesh plays in India next year. We feel that Bangladesh has come to a level where they can provide enough of a fight to tough opponents like India. When Bangladesh held its maiden Test in Dhaka against India, it was more a case of making the game more popular in our country and also to earn revenue. But now it’s strictly a cricketing decision and we are looking to finalise things on Wednesday,” said the man who will now need to vacate his position as BCB president.advertisementlast_img read more