Early Doors

Jamaica manager wants to pick Usain Bolt – but could it really happen?

Early Doors

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Olympic 100m and 200m champion Usain Bolt has long spoken of his love for football.

How we laughed at his chutzpah when he expressed a desire to play for Manchester United immediately after his golden display at London 2012 - and how we raised our eyebrows in hope when he was pictured chatting away at Old Trafford with Alex Ferguson.

Now, it seems that Bolt's dream of playing top-level football looks like it might actually come true. According to a report in the Jamaican Star, national team coach Wilfried Schaefer wants Bolt to be part of his squad for the qualifying campaign for the 2018 World Cup - and Bolt is keen to take up the manager on his offer.

Schaefer told another Jamaican newspaper, The Gleaner, that, "I want him on the national team... Maybe after the Olympics in Brazil [in 2016], I want to see him in our team."

Rather than laugh those comments off, Bolt has apparently taken them seriously. He posted a picture of the Jamaican Star's story on his Instagram account, with a message saying, "anything possible."

Usain Bolt's Instagram message (http://instagram.com/usainbolt)

There's still a long way to go before we can say whether or not this is a serious future plan for Bolt and the Jamaican football team, or just some excellent PR work from Schaefer and the sprint supremo.

But a brief glance at Jamaica's line-up suggests that there may be a place for Bolt in the squad. A man with such enormous speed would probably be best used as a winger, and as of their last few World Cup qualifiers the Reggae Boys count on two MLS players: Deshorn Brown of the Colorado Rapids plays on the right, while Darren Mattocks of the Vancouver Whitecaps is on the left.

Also in the squad playing on the wing in recent months have been Reading's Gareth McLeary, Luton Shelton of Russian Premier League side Volga Nizhny Novgorod and, er, Dane Richards of Norwegian side Bodo/Glimt, who were toiling away in the second tier of the Scandinavian nation until they won promotion at the end of the 2013 season.

The mere fact that you've barely heard of any of these guys suggests that Bolt representing his country isn't actually all that far fetched. Expect an announcement  in a trackside interview after a gold medal-winning display some time in August 2016...

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