Brent Griffiths: Keep me at the Coast

Mariners defender Brent Griffiths is off contract at the end of the season but is keen to stay with the Central Coast Mariners.

Griffiths, who joined the defending champions from Wellington Phoenix in 2012, has voiced his frustration about his future and said he has had no talks with the Mariners about a new deal.

“I’ve not had anyone speak to me about next season,” he said.

“I’m not going to lie and say I’m not frustrated. I’d like to know whether I’m going to be here or not. Right now I’m off-contract for next season and looking for a gig.”

The 24-year old has made just seven appearances for the Coast this season and is on to his third A-League club after making his debut with Perth Glory in 2010.

“I don’t know, it’s tough,” Griffiths said.

“For me I’ve been having one-year contracts for the last three, four years in the A-League.

“I’ve been in the A-League five years now and never really cemented a two or three-year contract which is tough.

“It’s a tough league, one of the hardest leagues in the world I think. There’s only 10 teams, and with visa spots as well, it’s hard.

“In terms of myself, what I want to do is I’d like to see a future at the Mariners.

The left-sided centre half position is not up for grabs but it’s a position that I’m striving for. Whether that is at the Mariners or not, whether it’s Asia or another A-League club, I’m quite open to other possibilities.

“But all I need is that chance I think.”

Griffiths played the full 90 minutes in the Mariners important 1-0 mid-week win over Beijing Guoan in the Asian Champions League.

“I wasn’t sure if we were going to get the result to be honest,” he said. “But yeah it was a good win in the end to be fair. The boys dug deep.

“Hopefully we can get another draw or a win and move us up to the top and the next stage of the ACL.

“For me the Asian Champions League is the pinnacle of football in Australia. I think that every team in the A-League should strive to play in it.

“If you’re getting 40K to win, it’s not something you’re getting in the A-league and it’s great exposure for players and great exposure for teams.

“Unfortunately no-one since Adelaide has given it a big of a nudge. But we managed to make it to the ACL round of 16 last season and hopefully we can do it again this season.”

Central Coast have turned their season around in recent weeks.

They currently sit second on the A-League ladder, and top of their ACL group with six points despite a major shake-up of the squad and the decision of title-winning coach Graham Arnold to leave for the J-League.

Griffiths added: “I’m not the first one to say it but it’s been a bit of an up and down season.

“The amount of changes that have happened in our season and the things we have put up with, even last season – and with Arnie going away - I think it’s like 14 players have left and two coaching staff, which is unbelievable.

“I don’t think any other team in the league could go through what we’ve been through and manage to be sitting second in the league and up there in the ACL. So it’s a credit to the boys and all the staff as well at the club.”

The Mariners have won their last five games in a row in the A-League, as well as recording two wins and a loss in Asia in that period, and confidence within the squad is building.

“Rosey’s (player Josh Rose) sort of said the ACL has helped our form in the A-League and vice-versa,” Griffiths said.

“I think he’s bang on the money with that one. A few of the boys are using the depth of the squad and everyone’s challenging for positions in the squad. Especially coming up to finals football, everyone wants to play, everyone wants to get the exposure and play in big games.

“Right now we’ve got 23 players who can all challenge for spots and these are the games we want to play in.

“Now we’re sort of coming into our form, more so now in this time of the season then maybe at Christmas when some of the teams were starting to peak then. So everyone peaks at different times and hopefully now is ours.”

Griffiths has found regular game-time at Central Coast Stadium rare, and has accrued just 35 appearances over his entire A-League career.

“Every player wants to be playing week-in-week-out,” he said.

“It’s frustrating to not be playing week-in-week-out and any player who tells you different is one hundred per cent lying.

“But that’s a testament to the club and the boys and especially the Mariners football team in that no-one feels left out, you don’t see anyone moping around that they’re not good because they are when we get our chance.

“I think every single player in our team has stepped up to the plate when they got their opportunity. We’ll see when it comes to the finals and hopefully we can give it a good nudge.”