October 06, 2022
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Age is just a number for Navua stopper

Making a major tournament debut at the age of 36 makes a strong statement that anything is possible in life if you put your best effort and committment, says Navua goalkeeper Rinish.
 
Speaking to FijiLive after putting on a Man of the Match performance against Suva in their first match of the 2022 Courts Inter District Championship (IDC) at the HFC Bank Stadium, Rinish said returning to football after 11 years came with challenges.
 
He said people criticised him for his weight and for making his debut at an age where other players are taking a retirement.
 
"This is my first IDC and first major tournament. I did play bazaar soccer and made my debut during the League game against Nadroga. That was my first 11-a-side in district-level football."
 
"Coach saw me long time ago before he went to America, but when he came back I was the manager of the team. So there was a time when we didn't have any goalkeepers. So he approached me and said 'why don't you try it' and then he gave me a three months program to work on."
 
"And I continued working on it, and then finally he gave me a break in the League game and that’s where I started to gain a little bit of confidence."
 
"Before returning, my weight was over 100 Kg so I moved down but I'm still working on it to go a little more down."
 
"I tied my lace at 36 and I just want to thank the people who didn’t believe in me because they themselves motivated me."
 
The Nasoso Nadi native represented the Sangam Sadhu Kuppuswamy Memorial College before a short stint with the Nadi district team.
 
He said it was a nervous atmosphere for him to take the field in place of Navua’s top chop-choice goalkeeper leaving the ground due to a severe facial injury.
 
"I was a bit nervous going into the game because our first-choice goalkeeper was doing well. So it was with a lot of pressure that I went in.
 
"Playing against Suva an experienced team will always have that nervousness but my defence and the faith of the team kept motivating me in the field. The players kept talking to me to give my best and I did."
 
"I always take my coach's advice before entering the field and that keeps me going."
 
"When I made my debut against Nadroga it was not good weather, it was rainy and the ground was not good."
 
"When you play goalkeeper, that kind of weather always scares us because the ground gets slippery and heavy rain destructs our attention."
 
"I was a bit shaky but once I played that game against Nadroga it gave me a lot of confidence.  After two days coach named me on the starting list against Lautoka and from that game I started to gain experience."
 
Rinish added that he feels motivated and is ready to repeat his same performance again against Nadi today.
 
"My aim in this IDC is to make my team qualify for the Semi-final by going game by game."
 
"Yesterday we just focused on the Suva game; today our focus is on Nadi. They drew yesterday and will be tough today."
 
"We have to win that game, that’s our aim also. The coach has set a plan and we just have to follow that."
 
"Yeah I’m ready. It's going to be a cracker game. I was in Nadi 12 years back and playing against them will be a different thing for me," he said.
 
Koromawaka Rentals and Tours Navua will come up against All in One Builders Nadi at 1pm.
 
By Romeka Romena   
 


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