Griffiths backs Adelaide to take title next year

Former A-League forward Ryan Griffiths believes the resilience of Western Sydney will help them take out the A-League Grand Final on Sunday.

The Wanderers and Brisbane Roar, who finished in second and first place respectively on the ladder, meet in the decider at Suncorp Stadium.

But Griffiths says it should be a different story next season when he expects coach Josep Gombau’s Adelaide United to win silverware.

Griffiths, who joined Malaysian side Sarawak FC last month, played just four games and scored one goal for Adelaide this season but “loved” his time with the Reds.

“For the lack of infrastructure (they have) they are well run in terms of management,” the 32-year-old said.

“I can see a bright future there with Gombau in charge. I was only there for a short while but he was amazing.

“I learnt a lot from him and the football that his team play is beautiful and exciting to watch. 

“I'll be putting a wager on them next year to win it. He is a great man-manager and other A-League clubs should look to build the same way that the Reds are.

“Not just look for quick results but invest in a stable and successful future.”

As for Sunday, Griffiths believes the current Roar team fall short of Ange Postecoglou’s successful outfit of 2010-2012.

“I think that the Roar are a good team but not as good as a few years ago,” he said.

“The other teams in the league this year seemed inconsistent and that helped the Roar win the Premiers Plate.” 

The ex-Newcastle Jets striker feels that the experience of the Wanderers, who lost last season’s Grand Final to the Mariners, may help them win this weekend’s blockbuster.

“I think the resilience of the Wanderers could get them over the line on the day,” he added.

“Being a part of the grand final last year will help them in terms of experience to understand what a grand final is all about. So my tip is the Wanderers.”

Griffiths, who started with Sarawak in March says he is enjoying his time in Malaysia.

“Where I live is tropical with nice beaches and surroundings,” he said. 

“Also all the locals speak English and there is plenty of banter amongst the lads. Something you don't get playing in China. The standard is below the A-League but crowd attendance is quite good. 

“We sell out our stadium each game, about 35,000 to 40,0000, and every away game has been full stadiums with great atmosphere.

“So far so good, (I’ve played) six games with a few goals and assists. Just trying to get my rhythm for the league and also used to the humidity over here. 

“I'm glad they have the understanding that each individual is different and not to put an age tag on someone. I have another two years here so I'm happy with that.”

More local players and coaches have been heading to the Malaysian Super League in recent times.

“I think Malaysia is popular because they like the Australian mentality and fight that we have in our system,” Griffiths said. 

“And for Australians it's a place where you can live comfortably and speak English and get three times the salary you would in the A-League. So it's kind of a no-brainer.”