Perth product Rostyn Griffiths is excited to be finally playing for his hometown club but isn’t ruling out a move overseas again at some point in the future.
Griffiths joined Perth Glory last week after spending two years with Guangzhou R&F in China.
The 25-year old midfielder is happy to be back in Western Australia, after an enjoyable stint in the Chinese Super League, and believes the Glory can make some noise in the A-League finals.
“Basically my contract had finished in China and when I came back I needed to have surgery on my ankle,” Griffiths said.
“I started training with the Glory and really the opportunity just presented itself at the right time.
“That month of January I was trying to get fit and potentially go back over to Asia, and then the Glory came up with something and I just thought well it’s not a bad place to be. The club’s going in a good direction so it worked out that way.”
The ECU Joondalup junior grew up supporting the Glory before moving to Blackburn Rovers at the age of 15.
Griffiths spent six years in the UK before returning to the A-League with Adelaide United in 2009.
He moved on to the now defunct North Queensland Fury and enjoyed a successful stint with the Central Coast Mariners, his eventual move to the CSL attracting a then-record $1.3 million A-League transfer fee.
Griffiths said he watched Glory a lot in the old NSL.
“My brother had already played for the Glory so it was something I always wanted to do,” he said.
“I didn’t know when that was going to be - it just happened a bit quicker than I thought.
“There were a couple of (other) potential A-League offers, clubs based in the east, but like I said it was my hometown.”
And he’s heard plenty of positives about interim Glory coach Kenny Lowe.
“When I spoke to Kenny about what he was trying to do with the club I thought, well, it’s quite exciting to be part of really,” he said.
In China Griffiths managed 34 appearances and one goal for Guangzhou R&F, which are managed by former England boss Sven Goran-Eriksson.
“I really enjoyed it,” he said. “I’ve got very fond memories. For me the top six or seven teams in China are better than the top six or seven in the A-League. It’s a little bit quicker.
“Obviously the foreigners make a big difference as well. Also the Chinese boys are a step above where they have been.
“Below that is pretty average. It sort of depends where the clubs are. It’s not as structured as the A-League, it’s played a bit more off the cuff.
“Obviously I had some good players to play with like Yakubu and then Sven-Goran Ericsson came in and took over as coach.
“The club has definitely rocketed up in the last six or seven months. Probably if the situation had been a little different, with a few other personal things, I would have stuck it out for a bit longer.”
Griffiths signed with the Glory until the end of the 2014-2015 season and will battle it out with the likes of Jacob Burns and Steve McGarry for a starting spot in midfield.
“I believe the club always plays with two holding midfielders,” he said.
“When you can play two it gives you the opportunity to go a forward a bit more which I was doing in China, there’s a bit more freedom.”
But the former Joey admits he still harbours goals of playing overseas at some point.
“I’m still quite ambitious to be honest,” he added.
“I love the A-League and I always watch it no matter where I am. But yeah I still definitely want to go overseas.
“Whether that’s Asia or Europe, at this stage I’m not too sure, but I had a few offers in January to go back over to Asia but they just weren’t right at the time.
“But I’m not thinking about that at the moment, I just want to get back playing.”
A small injury complaint ruled him out of Glory’s 1-1 draw with Melbourne Victory on Friday night but Griffiths is likely to be fit for selection for the club’s next match against Melbourne Heart.
The Perth outfit have added Lithuanian striker Darvydas Sernas and Serbian midfielder Nebojsa Marinkovic in the past two weeks, along with Griffiths, and the England-born Aussie believes the club has the cattle to cement a finals place.
“Definitely, they’ve already had pretty good quality in those positions and then they bought an extra couple of players in,” he said.
“It’s quite exciting. If we can build some momentum I think we’ll shake up the finals. I mean there’s no reason why we can’t with what I’ve seen in the A-League.”comments