WITH the weight of an entire region on his shoulders, Englishman John Rimmer is hoping to help Western Mariners avoid relegation in this year’s Men’s State League One competition.
The Mariners currently sit 11th - ahead of the Camden Tigers only - after 12 rounds of this year’s premiership.
But already with Rimmer on board the Mariners have looked a vastly improved line-up, with the 26-year-old former Whitchurch United centre back a heavy contributor in shoring up the league’s worst defence over the course of the last three weeks.
A near best-on-ground effort in his side’s last start 2-1 loss to the Gladesville Ryde Magic in Mudgee now under his belt, Rimmer says his stay with Western is as much about pushing the Mariners up the Men’s State League One ladder as it is about embedding some of his football nous on the team’s youngsters.
“If you’d have seen us on the weekend, we didn’t deserve to lose the game,” Rimmer said, a player boasting FA Cup experience with Whitchurch United, Blackwood Town and Hartley Whitney in England.
“We deserved three points, if not one, but that’s football. I’d like to think I’ve made a difference at the back.
“I’m hoping I can stay and play for the long term and help coach. I’ve been volunteering here and helping out on gala days and with development squads.”
Aside from another coaching voice now at the club, Rimmer, who will be based in Orange, will bring valuable experience to a young Western Mariners outfit for the remaining 10 weeks of the 2014 season.
“Most of the lads at 18 or 19,” he said.
“A lot of it is the communication side of things, they just need to learn it. There’s plenty of quality around in the grown up age group, they just need some nurturing.”
From Redding in England, Rimmer has landed in Australia for the second time after captain Adam Scimone contacted his former Stanmore Hawks teammate via Facebook.
The pair played together at Stanmore in 2011 and 2012.
A player with FA Cup and FA Trophy experience, Rimmer has spent the majority of his football back home in the Wessex League, a National Cup competition, with Whitchurch.
He’ll add obvious class to a Mariners line-up that has so far battled to match it with its more highly fancied Sydney-based opponents in the Men’s State League One premiership, a competition just four levels below the A League.
“Being the second year for the club ... the results don’t speak for everything. We have a lot of quality players but it’s tough on the youth. We don’t have that experience,” skipper Scimone said.
“Bringing John in helps us out, especially defence-wise.”
Western Marines tackle the Granville Rage at Mudgee on Saturday.