SYDNEY, Aug 13: Usain Bolt might be a superstar athlete but the fastest man ever won�t be getting special treatment when he arrives in Australia in his bid to become a professional footballer.
Australia�s Central Coast Mariners have agreed to help the eight-time Olympic champion achieve his long-held dream, letting him train with the club indefinitely in his pursuit of a playing contract. He is due to arrive in Gosford, 75 kilometres (47 miles) north of Sydney, on his own this weekend and has made just one demand � that his hire car is black.
�Colour of choice, apparently,� Mariners chief executive Shaun Mielekamp told the Sydney Daily Telegraph on Monday. �So black it is.� Asked if there had been other demands, he said: �No, there�s only that one.
�We�ve had no requests for private bodyguards, personal masseurs, chauffeurs. Nothing about providing bottled water from France, either,� he added.
And his hire car won�t be top of the range either. Instead, he will make do with one of the Hyundais the club is provided with each year as part of a sponsorship deal. Asked how Team Bolt would fit inside anything but a stretch limo, Mielekamp told the newspaper: �There isn�t any entourage.
�It�s only Bolt and his manager, and the latter is already here. So when Usain arrives at Sydney airport this weekend, he will be travelling alone.
�And when he drives, it will be in a Hyundai like everyone else at the club.�
Despite the Jamaican�s no-frills approach, managing his presence will be a tougher proposition with extra security guards on hand for any public appearances and club training sessions moved to a larger venue to cater for demand. �The one thing we�ve been really firm on is that Usain, while trialling for a contract, be treated the same as any player,� said Mielekamp.
�Obviously, we understand the realities of having somebody of his profile. But (when it comes to football) there will be no advantages.
�And that�s what Bolt wants � this is about his football journey. He�s coming here for the right reasons.�
Bolt dominated sprinting since taking double individual gold at the Beijing Olympics in 2008. He went on to win a further six Olympic golds and pick up 11 world titles. � AFP