Mitch revives old love affair

MITCH Rinos more than gets a kick out of soccer: it's been his life's passion.

Or was.

The Argentinian was one of the wave of overseas players who came to Australia in the 60s.

He was a contemporary of great names like Johnny Warren and Johnny Watkiss at Canterbury; of great imports like Rafael Campana, Johnny Giacometti and Raoul Blanco.

Rinos scored 16 goals in 12 matches for Marconi in 1969, a season culminating in a premiership.

Then he gave it away, had no contact with football for 40 years.

"Johnny Warren would say to me: 'Why don't you coach?'," he said.

"Parents would say 'Why don't you teach the kids'?"

And in 2010 he did start teaching.

"I changed my mind," he said.

Why? Ask the question, and that's when the passion returns.

"Soccer has gone backwards, it's just kick and run, there's no skill," he said of the Socceroos.

He invoked the names of Maradona, Pele and Messi to illustrate how skills take precedence in early South American football education.

"The standards are very, very poor," he said of coaching Australian juniors.

"I have a desire to to teach properly."

So now he's teaching 11 kids at Adam Park, Smithfield, and those kids get a shock when they see pictures of their now-elderly mentor with the likes of Maradona.

If there are other parents with questions they can contact Mitch 0419 445 315.

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