Griffiths: Here to stay

Joel Griffiths speaks about his new long-term deal which will see him become the Newcastle Jets' marquee player for the next 3 seasons.

Joel Griffiths today signed a deal which will see him become the Newcastle Jets- marquee player for the next 3 seasons. Already a fan favourite for the past 2 seasons, Griffiths- popularity in the Hunter region is arguably without peer.

Having achieved it all in the 2007/2008 Hyundai A-League campaign, Griffiths today gave the reasons why he has decided to call Newcastle home into the foreseeable future.

“Gary is one of the major factors in why I stayed, we have a good relationship. The environment at training is always enjoyable and the young kids can come in and also the experienced guys can really nurture them through the tough stages, like at the start of the season,” Griffiths said.

“I-m really grateful to the club for giving me the faith, not only to re-sign me for three years as a player, but also as the marquee player. I-m very happy with where I am,” he concluded.

Another who was delighted with the news today was 2007/2008 Hyundai A-League coach of the Year, Gary van Egmond, who, along with his Assistant coach Mark Jones, also signed a long-term deal with the club last week. Van Egmond sees the retention of Griffiths as a platform from which the squad can stabilise over the coming seasons.

“It-s very important. Obviously we-re talking about arguably the most influential player we have. If you look at it, he-s probably been more important than any of the A-League marquee players prior,” he said.

“If you take say Dwight Yorke out, I think he-s pretty well as close as you get to the face of the A-League.”

“It-s not just on his marketability, it-s also on his effectiveness on the football park and that-s paramount. For us he really trains and plays with a strong intensity, which is infectious to the other players,” van Egmond said.