Griffiths opens up on Malaysian departure

Brent Griffiths has opened up about his departure from Malaysia Super League side Penang and his plans for the future...

The former Perth Glory, Wellington Phoenix and Central Coast man exited Penang last week when his contract was mutually terminated. Griffths spent seven months with the Panthers.

The defender told FourFourTwo his time in Malaysia was “interesting”.

The first meeting I had with my agents they told me 'half the club don't want you here, so be careful'

“I was very lucky to live in arguably the best city/state in Malaysia, but signed for a team that had just been promoted to the Super League,” he said.

“From the get go there were many set backs from the club and the officials making decisions at the top, which I think unsettled the team a little, but basically that's Malaysian football.

“All in all I had a great time and really enjoyed my first experience of Southeast Asian football. It's different but every player going over that way needs to find it out for themselves because you don't truly know until you see it first hand.”

Griffiths admitted he expected to encounter some politics off the field when he moved to Penang.

“Literally the first meeting I had with my agents they told me ... half the club don't want you here, so be careful,” he said.

“It was a bit of a shock at first but I think I just forgot about it as the season progressed. There's some things that are out of your control and if I worried about it I'd have gone insane.

“You can obviously see now when five Australian players all got released halfway through the season for no real reason. It's not anyone's fault to be honest it's just the league and the way things work. There's sort of beauty in the chaos though.”

When asked about structure and competitiveness in the MSL, Griffiths felt two-time defending league champions Johor Darul Ta'zim were a step ahead of the pack, but the rest were evenly matched.

Sometimes in football you have to get out of a current situation to progress

“In terms of football structures it was almost non-existent," he said. "The Malaysian players are very technically talented but lack a lot of other attributes. I think that's a cultural issue to be honest.

“For me there's only one team in Malaysia that is a cut above the rest in Johor, but other then that I'd say almost every team is on par and can compete. 

“Obviously most clubs bring in foreign strikers so on a personal note it was good to play against some good strikers and have a decent battle – and I mean battle because the refereeing was non-existent.”

Griffiths has returned to Perth and is considering all options. The central defender could head back overseas or aim for another stint in the A-League.

“I'm speaking to a few different clubs and agents in various parts of the world right now so we will see what pops up,” he said.

“I'm in a very open frame of mind right now so I'll see what comes and assess what works for me. Sometimes in football you have to get out of a current situation to progress and that's where I feel I'm at.

“If that means to head overseas or stay in the A-League then so be it, but either way I'm happy with the journey I'm on and looking forward to the next step.”