Griffiths eager to get started


Joel Griffiths believes there is enough talent in the Jets’ squad to make a serious impact at the business end of the season.

Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets striker Joel Griffiths believes there is enough talent in the Jets- playing squad for Newcastle to make a serious impact at the business end of the current Hyundai A-League season

Griffiths arrived in Newcastle on Monday and said one of the main reasons behind his decision to return to the Hunter was the amount of potential within the Jets- playing roster.

“Looking at the team, they-ve got a lot of ability and that-s actually one of the reasons why I chose Newcastle,” Griffiths said.

“Even though they are young, they-ve still got a lot of experience and a lot of them have played with the Australian U-20s and even for the senior national team.

“The way Dutchy has got them playing, especially defensively, gives the strikers a lot of confidence.

“I know what it is like to have a really shaky defence and I don-t think we have that here at Newcastle.

“If we can keep solid at the back, the attacking third can do their part, that-s for sure.

“I-m here to win and I wouldn-t be here if I didn-t think we could make that top six.

“That-s the main objective and I think we have the team to do it.”

Griffiths said his main focus over the coming weeks is getting his fitness levels up to that of his teammates as he readies himself for his first match back in Newcastle Jets colours.

“I-ll set out a schedule with the strength and conditioning coach and the physio,” Griffiths said.

“I-ve got a big task ahead of me in terms of getting my body in the right shape, but if I can do all the right things, I-m sure it shouldn-t be a problem.

“We just have to be smart about it. I-m not going to put an exact date on when I-ll be ready, but with a good two weeks under my belt with good training, I should be ready to go in around a fortnight.

“The most important thing for me is if I-m confident with my fitness, then my football will do the talking, there-s no doubt about that.

“My main goal at the moment is to get as fit as possible to try and keep up with the players around me.”

The former Johnny Warren Medal winner said he was looking forward to once again playing in front of the Jets fans who adored him during his previous three seasons at the Club.

“I-ve always had good memories of Newcastle and what it-s all about,” Griffiths said.

“It will be an emotional first game back and the last couple of nights going to sleep I-ve actually been dreaming about that moment.

“I-m really looking forward to that moment and hopefully it comes sooner rather than later.”

Griffiths said he wouldn-t be fazed by the extra pressure and expectation placed on him by Jets Members and supporters hoping for the 34-year-old to replicate the feats he accomplished during his last stint at Newcastle.

“I don-t think I-d be the same player if I didn-t have pressure,” Griffiths said.

“Over in Beijing and Shanghai there was a lot of pressure because they-re two big Clubs and you have to perform otherwise you-re on a plane back to Australia.

“I-ve got not problem with handling any sort of pressure there is on me.”