Griffiths vows to remain in Europe

Netherlands-based midfielder Rostyn Griffiths is resisting strong A-League interest and has vowed to remain in Europe beyond this season after an impressive six months with Eredivisie outfit Roda JC.

Rostyn Griffths

Source: Getty Images

While fellow Australian Tomi Juric has battled injuries and rookie playmaker Daniel De Silva has remained largely on the fringes Griffiths, with 19 appearances in all competitions, has been thus far proved the most dependable of Roda’s Australian contingent.

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His form has not gone unnoticed, with Perth Glory dangling an open invitation for his return to nib Stadium, while other A-League clubs made serious inquiries during the just-closed January transfer window. 

But Griffiths, in his second coming to Europe after failing to make a breakthrough during three seasons on the books of Blackburn Rovers in his teenage years, is, at the age of 27, determined to make his imprint this time around. 

It's unlikely Griffiths will remain at Roda, where budgets are tight and expectations modest, but he is eager to spread the net in search of other opportunities beyond his one-season deal in the Netherlands. 

“The goal was to come back to Europe and play at the highest level possible, get my foot in the door and prove myself,” he said. 

“I am not getting any younger, if the right opportunity comes along elsewhere, or if the club makes my situation good enough, then I will definitely stay. 

“You have to weigh up the longevity of your career and where that will take you financially. It was hard to get back here, and I want to make the most of it.” 

Griffiths confirmed that the A-League interest has been strong, but it didn’t distract him from his main purpose. 

"I am not looking to move back there right now, and I am working towards maybe a move elsewhere in Europe in the (northern) summer," he said. 

"I haven't put myself in this situation for some time. It was a bit of a gamble - a last chance to make an impression before I get too old. Every game, as it should always be, is really important.” 

Griffiths is nearing fitness again after a hamstring strain and should be pushing strongly for a recall for the visit of FC Twente on Saturday week as Roda look to continue to distance between themselves from the bottom three.

They currently sit in 13th spot with 23 points from 21 games. 

“Our coach (Darij Kalezic) is very tactically aware, and plays a different way to a lot of teams in Holland, and that’s probably a good thing because that probably keeps the opposition guessing," he said.

"I think he is really good and I have a lot of time for him.” 

Griffiths believes the return of Juric, side-lined with a knee injury, can't come quickly enough. 

“Tomi's a threat every time he plays, and we need him to be there to put the ball in the net," he said.

“The coach has a lot of faith in him - he is a different type of player, quite unique in the way he plays. 

“He’s a big guy with good feet, and he can finish which is the most important thing. He is only going to get better with game time. 

"He already looks a much improved player from his A-League days. He could be massive player for Australia.” 

Griffiths has been impressed with the Dutch devotion to playing out from the back, but said many Eredivisie teams lack toughness. 

“The nice thing is that even the bottom teams try and play the right way, but they can be a soft in their approach at times. It’s different to Britain or Australia. Physically soft, and maybe a bit mentally too," Griffiths said.

“But technically they are more advanced than what I have been used to. There’s a big gap between the top five and the rest.” 

Former Glory team-mate De Silva has been used sparingly this season after his move from the A-League.

“Danny is actually probably perfect for this sort of league. It’s an attacking league that wants to get number tens on the ball," Griffiths said.

“But the position we have found ourselves in has been a bit of fight at times perhaps and that's come at the expense of pretty football.

"That's a side of the game Danny is going to have to learn. It’s a matter of being able to produce for 90 minutes. Danny is switched on for his age and he knows what he has to do. 

“Every time he has come on he's made a positive impact and done really well. I know the coach likes him and has a lot of time for him.” 


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5 min read
Published 5 February 2016 at 1:46pm
By David Lewis