Five things to know about Central Coast Mariners amid talks to sign Usain Bolt
Bolt is in talks with the Australian club.
Australian side the Central Coast Mariners have confirmed they are in discussions about signing world record-holding sprinter Usain Bolt on a trial.
Here are five things to know about the A-League side based just north of Sydney.
The A-League has had six different champions in the 13 years it has been running, with the Mariners taking home the title in the 2012/13 season with a 2-0 win over the Western Sydney Wanderers in the Grand Final.
In Australia, the top six clubs from the regular season go into a post-season playoff to determine the champions, with the Mariners named losing finalists three times.
In addition, Central Coast have topped the A-League twice – in 2007/08 and 2011/12 after recording the best regular season record. The furthest the side have got in the FFA Cup is the semi-finals in 2014.
The Mariners have had little to celebrate in recent years – the side finishing bottom of the table twice in the last three seasons.
Last season saw the club lose six in a row and suffer an 8-2 defeat at home to rivals the Newcastle Jets.
Many of the current Mariners line-up are unknown outside of Australia, but the club have formerly seen goalkeeper Mark Bosnich, ex-Portsmouth and Coventry striker John Aloisi and current Socceroos captain Mile Jedinak on their books.
Other former Mariners who have played in England include John Sutton, who had spells at Wycombe and Motherwell, former Swindon, Cardiff and Plymouth midfielder Wayne O’Sullivan and former Nottingham Forest and Northampton defender Chris Doig.
Former Barcelona and Liverpool winger Luis Garcia also played 10 games, scoring twice.
The current head coach of the Mariners is Manchester-born Mike Mulvey, who began his playing career as a trainee for Manchester United before emigrating to Australia.
On Monday, the side also announced that former United assistant manager Mike Phelan was joining the club as a sporting director.
The club’s colours are blue and yellow – and their current strip manufactured by Umbro has the two hues in vertical stripes.
Three seasons ago, Central Coast fans were slightly put out by the kit design which featured a palm tree emblazoned on the front – a nod to the trees which separate the southern end of the ground from Brisbane Water.