Veteran Boyz defender Mariappa says he has more in the tank to keep on playing
Captain Adrian Mariappa leads his team onto the pitch for the Reggae Boyz's friendly international against Trinidad and Tobago at the National Stadium on Tuesday. The game ended 0-0. (Photo: Garfield Robinson)

At age 36, Reggae Boyz defender Adrian Mariappa has no intentions of retiring from club and international football any time soon, and he has said so.

The England-born says he believes he still has what it takes to perform at the highest level for the country.

Mariappa, who was the oldest member of the Reggae Boyz squad which recently completed a two-match friendly international series with Caribbean neighbours Trinidad and Tobago (T&T), told the Jamaica Observer that he still has a very important role to play in the team as the country looks forward to qualifying for the 2026 FIFA World Cup tournament.

The Reggae Boyz lost their opening game against T&T 1-0 at the Catherine Hall Sports Complex in Montego Bay on Saturday before drawing their return fixture 0-0 at the National Stadium on Tuesday.

"Not ready to retire [as] I am in good condition and I am feeling good and it doesn't make any sense to waste that," said Mariappa.

"I just take it game by game because you can't play forever, but I am feeling good still and I feel that my performance is there for the team as well and I still feel that I can add to the group and so if any of that changes then things will change as well," he said.

"There is no better feeling than playing for your country and I would just love to be part of it, whether it is on the field or off the field, in getting us to the World Cup," Mariappa added.

Reggae Boyz Head Coach Heimir Hallgrimsson fielded a largely young and inexperienced squad for both matches against the Trinidadians, but veteran Mariappa pointed out that he was very impressed with the way the youngster carried themselves throughout both matches and he believes that he has a role to playing in helping to guide them in the team.

"The group changed quite quickly as well so I have been one of the older ones for a long time now. Everyone gets on well because I have had good senior professionals when I came into the team, the likes of Ricardo Fuller, Marlon King, Claude Davis and Damion Stewart, and so all these guys were really great for me and so I just try and do the same for these guys.

"They are all very good players and they know what their strengths are on the pitch and off the pitch, and so for me, it is about setting a good example around the place and if they need help with anything in their game... and will lend my opinion with them," said Mariappa, who made his Jamaica debut back in 2012.

"They are all very talented, good kids as well and so to me it is about trying to help them to get better," he added.

Mariappa, who is currently without a club, stated that he is actively seeking to find a new place of employment and is confident that things will work out soon.

"I am a free agent at this time and so I am just waiting on a few things and so just let's see," he ended.

Captain Adrian Mariappa leads his team onto the pitch for the Reggae Boyz's friendly international against Trinidad and Tobago at the National Stadium on Tuesday. The game ended 0-0. (Photo: Garfield Robinson)
Robert Bailey

Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at https://bit.ly/epaper-login


  1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper; email addresses will not be published.
  2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.
  3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.
  4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.
  5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.
  6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.
  7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy