Usain Bolt’s dream to make it as a professional footballer has taken a hit after a former Republic of Ireland striker Andy Keogh says his first touch is “like a trampoline”.
Eight-time Olympic champion Bolt, 32, has been on trial with Australian side Central Coast Mariners since August.
The Australian FA said it is working with the A-League club to help fund a deal for the Jamaican, who retired from athletics last year.
While the move has been positively received in the A-League and beyond, Keogh is adamant Bolt can’t make it as a pro footballer.
“He’s not going to be able to make it,” said Perth Glory forward Keogh.
“It’s nice to have the attention on the A-League but him playing here, that’s not for me,” the former Wolves and Millwall player told Off the Ball.
“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.”
Keogh, who won 30 caps for the Republic, added a potential professional contract for Bolt was “fine from a marketing point of view” but was “farcical” from a football perspective.
“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,” he said.
The Mariners have said it is “unlikely” Bolt would sign a deal without a financial contribution from a “third party”.
When asked if Bolt had the ability to play professional football, Mariners boss Mike Mulvey replied: “I’ll say this one more time – my focus is on the game on Saturday and on the players contracted for the Central Coast Mariners and that is how it should be.”
This comes as Bolt turned down a two-year deal with Maltese champions Valletta FC this month.