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'Bobby told me this is a great club' - Mariappa

Adrian Mariappa arrives in BS3 with a ringing endorsement of his new club from one of Bristol City’s Academy products - Bobby Reid.

With 168 Premier League appearances and 198 in the Championship, the centre-back joins the Robins with an impressive CV – and plenty of fuel in the tank to add to that portfolio.

‘Mapps’ links up with familiar backroom faces in ex-Watford Head of Performance Andrew Rolls and Under-23s coach Rene Gilmartin, as well as former teammates Jack Hunt and Andreas Weimann, while among the messages he has received was one from Jamaican colleague Reid.

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“Bobby told me what a great club it was and he had nothing but good things to say– and I know he wouldn’t lie to me!” Mariappa told Robins TV. “Everyone I have spoken to at the club or who has previously been at the club have all said the same things and it’s brilliant to hear.”

Signed as a free agent until January, the 34-year-old has been impressed with what he been told of the set-up at the Robins and he is now raring to go after the international break.

“It’s evident from the outside what a good club it is, how well run it is and in the games that I have watched you can see the togetherness of the players and those are very attractive things for a player,” said Mariappa.

“The most important thing is that there are good people here who are all striving to push forward and reach new heights. I’ve been in football a long time and being around good people and in a good environment is key for me. I also know how talented the players are and that bodes well for a club in the Championship trying to push forward.”

Mariappa was part of a Championship promotion-winning side at the end of the 2005/06 season – his first senior season with Watford, whom he joined as a nine-year-old – and he is hungry for more success, adding: “Obviously I can bring my experience but I am still hungry to do well and play at the highest level – that desire is something I have never really lost, even though you get older and the perception is you are whitling down but I feel in great condition and hopefully I can add to what is already a very talented group.”

Mariappa’s last visit to Ashton Gate was pre-stadium development in 2010, when he provided an assist in a 2-0 Watford win against a City team containing current coach Kalifa Cissé.

And, after coming down from the top of the Lansdown Stand he reflected: “I didn’t really think you meant ‘we are going on the roof’. From the last time I came here it’s very different. It’s changed so much – it’s a fantastic stadium…you can see it’s geared for the Premier League and the standards around the whole place are really top-notch so you have to commend the club for the way they have progressed.”

 

Mariappa will be vying for a spot with captain Tomas Kalas, Nathan Baker and Alfie Mawson - on returning from injury - as well as 23-year-olds Taylor Moore and Zak Vyner. “I remember what it was like being a young centre-half,” he said. “I was fortunate to have some really good older pros around me to guide and give me the odd word of advice that has stuck with me so I take pride in trying to help the young lads improve and maximise their potential.”

Mariappa links up with the City squad as preparations continue for the visit of Derby County next Saturday (November 21st, 3pm KO) – exclusively live on Robins TV with a £10 matchday pass. 

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