Internationals: Mariappa On World Cup Hopes
By Kevin Affleck
Adrian Mariappa wants Jamaica to continue their sparkling recent form and give him a final crack at playing at a World Cup.
The Reggae Boyz have made a storming start to life in Group C of the CONCACAF Nations League, winning their first four games and rattling in 18 unanswered goals.
They play Antigua & Barbados on Saturday and Guyana on Tuesday as they bid to finish top of the group and reach June's Nations League final championship. From there, three direct slots and one play-off spot is available for the Qatar World Cup in 2022.
“These are massive games and we need to finish the group well,” said Mariappa. “They are games on paper we should win but we need to put in two good performances and get two good results that will carry us onto the World Cup qualifiers. [The team] is in really good shape and we’ve got some great young players, we’re just trying to build solid foundations. Obviously, it’s a long way for us to get to the World Cup so we need to have those foundations in place to give us the best opportunity to make it.”
Mariappa has won 48 caps for Jamaica since his debut in May 2012 and jumps at the chance to link up with Theodore Whitmore's side and represent the country of his mother.
“I’m incredibly proud and it’s something I’ve appreciated more as I have got older,” he said. “I’ve had some great experiences and it comes with great responsibility as well because you are trying to do well, not just for yourself. There’s a lot of the young guys depending on us doing well so they can go and live their dreams and play as high as they can across Europe.”