Ex-Watford and Reading Man Joins Non-League Side

Former Watford defender Adrian Mariappa has signed for National League side Wealdstone following his release by Salford City.

The 37-year-old had spent the 2023-24 season at the Peninsula Stadium but left the club following the expiration of his contract.

Mariappa came through the academy at Vicarage Road, captaining the side at youth level before going on to play 340 times for the club across two spells. The Harrow-born centre-back had stints at Reading and Crystal Palace in between his two periods in Hertfordshire, playing for the former in the Premier League in 2012-13.

Later on in his career, the Jamaica international played for Bristol City and Burton Albion either side of a period in Australia with Macarthur FC, where he made 19 appearances in Sydney.

As well as his club exploits, Mariappa has accumulated 73 caps for the Jamaican national team, for whom he qualifies through his maternal grandparents.

Stones boss Matt Taylor said, “Adrian has a fantastic pedigree and for us to secure his signature is a huge bonus for the football club.

“He will be a big character within the squad and his leadership skills will be vital for the upcoming season.”

Wealdstone will be hoping to build on the previous season where they finished 16th in the National League, starting strong but tailing off after losing ex-manager Stuart Maynard to Notts County.

Fans of the Stones will be hoping Mariappa can add much needed experience to the squad and that his career in the EFL can help the North London side up the table.

Writer’s View

This is a fantastic deal for Wealdstone who will be hoping Mariappa helps drive them up the table and maybe even into the EFL. His experience will be invaluable and even though he may not be the player he once was, his off-field presence will be just as important as on the field.

From the player’s point of view, this is a good move as his career winds down. The slower pace will suit him at the age of 37, and he moves to a side local to where he grew up which will suit him as he thinks about hanging up his boots in the not-too-distant future.

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