Thursday, December 13, 2012
Griffiths 'perfect' A-League fit for SydFC
By Liam FitzGibbon
New signing Joel Griffiths believes he can give Sydney FC something they've been lacking when he takes the field next month for the A-League club.The Sky Blues on Friday confirmed the signing of the 33-year-old striker after he finished up with Chinese giants Shanghai Shenhua earlier this month.Griffiths, a former A-League player of the year with the Newcastle Jets, has signed a two-year deal but cannot play for Sydney until the transfer window opens on January 14.He can't wait and believes he can form a formidable striker partnership with marquee star Alessandro Del Piero.Griffiths was present for Sydney's scoreless draw with Melbourne Heart at Allianz Stadium earlier this month and it was that match which convinced him that both he and the club could benefit from the move."Not being disrespectful to anyone that plays up front now or that played in that game, but I just felt that I could have done something in that game," said Griffiths, who was also linked to his former club (Jets) and Western Sydney Wanderers."Del Piero played up front and I felt that's not his position at all."I felt if I was up front and he was behind me, it was a totally different way the game would have been played."That's what I saw and I thought 'this could happen'. This could be the club that could be great this year."After leading the Jets to the A-League title in 2007/08, Griffiths spent the past four years playing in China with Beijing and Shanghai and admitted he never stopped thinking about a return to Australia.He said he had come back a more mature player, having learnt plenty last season playing alongside former Chelsea superstars Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka at Shanghai."It's priceless, everything you learn from them at training," Griffiths said."I used to pick Drogba's brain and Anelka's brain all the time over dinner ... and to be fair, they actually enjoy telling their stories a lot and we became really good friends."Alessandro's here and I'll be doing exactly the same. Hopefully he doesn't get too annoyed with me."Sydney coach Frank Farina said signing Griffiths was his priority and hoped the former Socceroo striker would give the side "an extra weapon".The player will link up with twin brother Adam and has already learned a valuable lesson about life back in Australia.News of Griffiths' return leaked early when Adam posted a photo on Twitter of Joel at the beach on Thursday with "SFC" emblazoned across his chest."I had a fair idea what Twitter was - obviously you can't get it in China," he said."But I didn't know how viral it could go so quickly."Meanwhile, Farina said Del Piero remained in doubt for Saturday's derby with Western Sydney, despite joining the full team for training on Friday.