Usain Bolt

Still on World Cup time, today's writer awoke in the wee small hours to see a tweet linking to a version of this story and assumed we misread the tweet. It seems we didn't.

Central Coast Mariners, via agent Tony Rallis, has a plan to bring Usain Bolt, the world champion sprinter, to Australia to trial for the A-League club over six weeks in return for a season-long contract. Bolt has long talked of his ambitions to play football professionally. He has previously trialled with Norwegian club Stromsgodset and the Bundesliga's Borussia Dortmund (picture).

Obviously, it's got the stamp of approval from News Corp whose journalist Tom Smithies supports the idea at least for a six-week trial because the A-League has been abandoned by “great swathes of Australian general sports fans.” It's unclear why a six-week trial would bring those fans to A-League matches once the season got underway without Bolt (assuming he didn't pass the trial). And if he is considered good enough, “imagine the global focus on the Australian league.” 

Yes, but not necessarily for the right reasons. 

Nonetheless, Smithies is supported by several random tweets from fans integrated into the story with pleas to FFA to make it happen. While this piece starts off as somewhat doubtful about the notion it shifts into saying the writer “can't wait” for pre-season if Bolt is trialling. “He’d be a great addition to the side that is lacking in pace after all its experienced, fast wingers and forwards were sold off and replaced with less experienced, younger models.”

News Corp chimes-in with another piece saying “it's caused a kerfuffle” and reporting on the Seven Network reporting on it. Sigh. 

And Fairfax Media reports on News Corp's and Seven's reports, noting the opportunity has come about apparently because of the appointment of Central Coast Mariners' new football director, Mike Phelan.  

Even the ABC Online and The Guardian Australia felt obliged to report on the possibility of the not-necessarily-the-fastest man in the world joining the A-League. 

We feel inclined to write a comment piece but are just too tired from all the World Cup watching; we're sure there'll be plenty, but make sure you vote in our poll on the front page

World Cup

France and Croatia welcomed home their World Cup heroes - 'eternal happiness' for both teams. 

David Davutovic on the Final and noting the difference that 19-year-old Kylian Mbappé makes and that there's so much room for improvement. Others have also commented on the fact that he can play his entire career through his 20s without having the commentary around him of 'needing' to win a World Cup to prove his status as a great. 

Mbappé has caught the eye and commentary of many journalists: here is an earlier article via the London Telegraph's Paul Hayward (in Fairfax Media) referring to the player as “the one French weapon Croatia could do nothing about”. 

TV ratings

As we heard regularly during the World Cup - especially after the 'floptus' disaster - SBS-TV made a killing in the ratings during the tournament. Almost 700,000 people tuned-in to the final, making it the most watched World Cup final since ... wait for it ... 1966 when England defeated Germany. 

a-league, central coast mariners, usain bolt, 2018 world cup, tv ratings

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