Griffiths hopeful of big showing against Ghana
Pim Verbeek hasn’t revealed his starting side for the match against Ghana, but one player who already knows he is starting is reigning Hyundai A-League Player of the Year Joel Griffiths.
Pim Verbeek hasn-t revealed his starting side for the match against Ghana, but one player who already knows he is starting is reigning Hyundai A-League Player of the Year Joel Griffiths.
Griffiths, who was arguably the outstanding player last season and the catalyst for Newcastle Jets Championship success, finally gets his chance after missing out in March against Singapore and China.
At that stage there was much conjecture about why he missed out, but Verbeek has thrown the challenge open to Griffiths to lead the line against Ghana tonight and show that he can play a role in the World Cup qualifiers.
“I am very surprised, but it is a big occasion,” Joel said yesterday. “I-m looking forward to it; he-s given me a chance and I have got to try and take it with both hands and have a good game.”
As for what happened earlier in the year, Griffiths says he is over the disappointment of missing out then and keen to do well.
“I-m over that; I was disappointed for a day or so,” he said philosophically. “You know these things happen in football.
“Look where I am now; I have the chance to prove myself and I have just got to do the best I can.”
One thing that has definitely benefitted him in the off-season ahead of some of his other Hyundai A-League rivals is a loan move to Avispa Fukuoka in Japan.
“Yeh, definitely. I feel fit; feel good; feel sharp and obviously scoring as well. All goalscorers like to score going into a game like this.
“I am looking forward to the challenge in front of me and it-s up to me to grab it.”
He acknowledged it won-t be easy against the Ghanaians, who are ranked No.14 in the FIFA world rankings and made the semi finals of the African Nations Cup earlier this year.
“Ghana are a good side; they-re very physical and one of the best teams in Africa, so it-s a challenge not just for myself, but obviously a few of the other boys that are coming into the side.
“Hopefully we can get a good result and do our best for Australia.”
Obviously Griffiths will be hoping a strong performance tonight, will keep him in the frame for the World Cup qualifiers and if not he will rest and prepare for next years A-League season.
“I don-t know; we-ll just play this game first I think. I don-t think I will be going back to Japan, we-ll just what happens in the next couple of weeks, to see if I am in Pim-s plans or not and probably have a month off going into the new A-League season.”
Aussies Abroad: Vukovic injured as Genk exit Europa League
It wasn’t a happy night in the UEFA Europa League for Danny Vukovic as he was stretched off in Genk’s 4-1 loss to Slavia Prague on Friday morning (AEDT). AUSSIES ABROAD: Vukovic features in top-two battle NEW DEAL: In-form Vukovic rewarded with contract extension Still sco
When to watch your Caltex Socceroos this weekend
There's plenty for Caltex Socceroos fans to sink their teeth into this weekend with our homegrown heroes gearing up for some massive matches. Mathew Leckie attempts to slay a giant in Germany, two Aussies set aside national team loyalties in Denmark and Aaron Mooy goes on the
In-form Vukovic earns Genk contract extension
Caltex Socceroos goalkeeper Danny Vukovic has been rewarded for his excellent form with a two-season contract extension at Belgian club KRC Genk. The 33-year-old's deal was due to expire at the end of the campaign but the Pro League leaders have taken up their option to extend
Aussies Abroad: Vukovic’s Genk beaten in battle of Belgium’s top two
Danny Vukovic’s Genk remain well clear on top of the table despite falling to a rare defeat in Belgium against Club Brugge overnight. In a meeting of the competition’s top two at the Jan Breydel Stadion, Genk were beaten the fired-up home side, going down 3-1. There was lit