Central Coast coach Mike Mulvey says January will be the time to assess the progress of Usain Bolt, who's set to have his next preseason hit-out for the Mariners in mid-October.
The Jamaican superstar who's striving to earn a contract, has been earmarked to potentially play against aspiring A-League club Macarthur South West United at Campbelltown Sports Stadium on Oct. 12.
"If I get to start it will be a big thing for me," Bolt said.
"It shows that the work that I've been putting in since I've been here is really paying off and the coach has confidence in me and he sees the improvement and the work I've been putting in."
The former Olympic and world sprint champion started trialling with the Gosford-based A-League club in mid-August.
Bolt played the entire second half of a closed doors friendly against NPL 2 NSW side North Shore Mariners on Sept. 19, when he again alternated between left wing and striker.
"I feel like I'm improving," Bolt said.
Mulvey agreed that Bolt was progressing.
"In the initial dispatches talked about he needed time, I said at the time we will give him 12 months if need be," Mulvey said.
"But I think a reasonable assumption would be around about Christmas time, January, we should be really judging on whether he's really improved or not improved.
"We've got him to a certain level with his physical preparation, he's quite good.
"It's alright having fitness but you've got to have football fitness, stop, start, change of direction, so he's slowly getting there."
Attacker Bolt wants to repay the Mariners faith in him by getting on the scoresheet.
"If I can actually score a goal for this club, that's me going in the right direction and showing them that the chance that they took on me is paying off," Bolt said.
"It would also take a lot of pressure off me to get that out of the way.
"Because scoring goals is what football is all about, especially if you are an attacker, so it's something that would be good."