Well-performed Tumu Douglas Villa striker Tremaine Rimene-Albrett admits to being surprised with his international call-up for the Cook Islands for this month’s South Pacific Games in Honiara, Solomon Islands.
Rimene-Albrett qualifies for the Cook Islands through his maternal grandmother, who was born in Rarotonga.
He had indicated his availability for selection, but was not overly confident because he had played in Capital Division Two, three levels below Central League.
“When I put my name forward, either way, if I made it or not, I would be happy – it was a bit of hit and miss,” the 21-year-old said, “but it definitely took me by surprise just because of the level of the football I was playing this year.”
The South Pacific Games will be a step into the unknown for Rimene-Albrett, who won’t meet his teammates until he arrives in Brisbane on his way to Honiara, but he has done some background work into what he can expect.
“I have been watching a few of their games just to see what they’re like, and it does look like a pretty good level of football that they play.
“I’m expecting some good football, and I’ve been doing a bit of research on the dominant countries, but it does look like we should hold up pretty well.”
The Cook Islands will come up against one of the favourites, New Caledonia, and Tonga, in pool play before the playoffs.
The selection capped off a good couple of weeks for
Rimene-Albrett, who won the award for Capital Football’s goal of the season for a stunning volleyed overhead bicycle kick into the top right-hand corner from about 20 meters out in Douglas Villa’s 4–2
win over Stokes Valley.
Rimene-Albrett has also become the first Douglas Villa player to gain international selection while playing for the club. Brian Davidson, John Mutimer, Andy Taylor [under 20s] and Tui Dugan [under 20s] also received international recognition after moving on from Douglas Villa.
Interestingly, Rime-Albrett and Dugan both played in the club’s successful under-13 JPL team in the early-mid 2010s.
Club stalwart Riki Riddell was also recognised at the Capital Football Awards, receiving a long service award.