Joel Griffiths is returning to Newcastle for his third stint with Jets. Some may think the move to sign the 34 year old for the rest of the season is a waste of time but I think it’s stroke of genius from Gary Van Egmond and management team.
As Nathan Burns departs for Korea, the door was left open for one of the club’s favourites to return. Knocking back bigger offers to play elsewhere Griffiths decided to come back to the club that has given him so much.
Griffiths first spell with Newcastle was back in 2001 where in netted 28 goals from 45 appearances in the old NSL. After a brief move to Europe, Griffith returned to the Jets in 2006 for four great seasons including his best ever as an individual in the season of 2007/08. In that season, Griffiths helped Newcastle to the A-League title, won the Johnny Warren Medal, Golden boot and player’s player award. In high demand the striker was to go overseas again after 28 goals from 60 matches in his second run with Newcastle.
Griffiths won a title with Chinese club Beijing Guo’an FC in 2009 but his greatest achievements have been at Newcastle. So when the opportunity arose for him to return, it seemed like the right thing to do. I’m sure it will be too. Although his resume might not quite be that of his new team mates Emile Heskey or Michael Bridges, Griffiths will be a role model to younger players in the jets system and if on target early he may even pull some old jets supporters out of the wilderness.
Which other former player would you love to see return?
I’d love to see Jeremy Brockie and Ryan Griffiths back in the Jets jersey but that seems unlikely considering Newcastle already has 5 forwards on the books.