STAR: Sunshine Coast product Josh Nisbet (third from right) helped welcome Olympian Usain Bolt to the Central Coast Mariners.
STAR: Sunshine Coast product Josh Nisbet (third from right) helped welcome Olympian Usain Bolt to the Central Coast Mariners. Emmanuel Peters

Coast teenager keen for Bolt experience

FOOTBALL: Olympic legend Usain Bolt could make his much-anticipated debut for the Central Coast Mariners on Friday night, and Sunshine Coast teenager Josh Nisbet is hopeful of being right in the middle of the action.

Bolt is trialling with the A-League club and is expected to gain his first taste of game time during a pre-season practice match against a Central Coast selection.

The clash will be televised on Fox Sports and is likely to draw a big crowd.

Former Buderim Wanderers and Sunshine Coast Fire talent Nisbet made his second appearance for the Mariners against the Newcastle Jets at the weekend after making his debut during an FFA Cup match earlier this month.

Although the squad was yet to be finalised, Nisbet said he was keen to not only gain more experience but to lace-up alongside the sprint star.

"It'd be a great and privileged moment (for me)," he said.

"He's one of the best athletes ever and for him to be on the same side as you and to have your back would be a very good experience.

"Hopefully I can get an opportunity to play on TV and to play with Usain Bolt."

The 19-year-old from Glasshouse Mountains has had the chance to train with the Jamaican, who arrived at the club last week, and relished the moment.

"It's been incredible to have such an athlete training with us," he said.

"You're a little bit nervous when it comes to physicality as you know he's going to run past you and stuff like that.

"It (his trial) shows the hard work and dedication that he's put into his career and that he's still such a humble bloke.

"He's been at the top of sprinting and his athletics career so he knows what it's going to take to get to the level he needs to be, whether that's now or a little bit later."

Nisbet said he had enjoyed his time with the club so far, and was thankful to head coach Mike Mulvey for granting him opportunities to play.

"It is a bit of a step up but I'm quite looking forward to the challenge and all the boys have been quite supportive and helpful so they've been giving me some tips and stuff to help me," the teenager said.

"It's giving me some confidence to perform well and knowing that coaches and other players are liking what they're seeing so it gives me motivation to keep playing the way I'm playing and to enjoy my football.

"Players develop and make breakthroughs at different ages but I'm quite happy that it's coming at this moment so hopefully I can continue to keep progressing and eventually go above and beyond and do better."

Nisbet has been part of the club's academy for almost two years and plays for the Mariners in the National Youth League and National Premier League.

The Central Coast Mariners will play Central Coast Select on Friday night at Central Coast Stadium from 7.30pm.

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