Rostyn Griffiths won’t forget his starting debut for the Central Coast Mariners, but he admits he would have liked to have got more out of his first appearance, against Wellington on Sunday.
Rostyn Griffiths won-t forget his starting debut for the Central Coast Mariners, but he admits he would have liked to have got more out of his first appearance, against Wellington on Sunday.
The Phoenix nicked the three points as a 2-nil win kept them unbeaten at home in 21 matches, and Griffiths says it was a disappointing way to begin his career as a member of the first eleven in Yellow and Navy.
“Yeah I was looking forward to it. I-d been patient throughout the pre-season waiting for my chance and while it wasn-t the game I would have been hoping for it-s always nice to get your place and like I say disappointing we didn-t get the win but I was happy to start.
“It-s a very tough place to go, they-ve got good individual players and it-s mentally tough as well with the time difference and the travel and the fans, and everything like that, but we have to be prepared for that as well and we knew what we were coming up against,” Griffiths said.
But with a setback comes an opportunity, which presents in the form of the Mariners southern rivals Sydney FC who have earned just one point from a possible nine so far. Griffiths believes it-s a great chance to return to the winners circle.
“They haven-t had the best start to the season and a few of their best players are out as well, so if there is ever a good time to play them now is that time. We need to prove ourselves, and prove that we can play better football than we did last week, and there-s no better time to do it than in a derby against Sydney.
“We had a decent start against Melbourne Heart and we came back in the second half against Adelaide so we need to keep up there at the top of the table because I think that is where we deserve to be this season.
“We-ve got a decent squad, brought in some decent players and a decent coach, so we definitely want to be back winning this weekend,” said Griffiths.
The former North Queensland Fury and Blackburn Rovers midfielder says that the mood in the camp is buoyant, after putting behind it the disappointment of last Sunday.
“It-s alright now. Straight after the game it was difficult because nobody likes to lose and we were a bit down, but we-ve had a good session after a day off, a bit of a pick me up and we-ve come in refreshed and ready to redeem ourselves on the weekend.”
Griffiths is a new arrival on the Central Coast, one of 11 changes to last season-s squad, and says he is enjoying the relaxed way of life in the area.
“It-s good. It-s a lot different to where I-ve been before in Townsville and before that in the UK. It-s quiet but I like that you have the benefits of being near Sydney if you need to be and Newcastle as well. Bit by bit I-m getting to know my way around and my girlfriend is over here now as well so we-re enjoying it,” Griffiths said.
Argentine playmaker Patricio Perez is edging ever closer to a first Hyundai A-League appearance in Yellow and Navy, and Griffiths, along with the rest of the playing squad and Coaching staff, is excited by the prospect of the Under 20-s World Cup winner taking to the park.
“He-s showing in training that he has come back now and he looks sharp, he-s got good touch and he-s possibly the player we-ve been missing with a little bit of creativity in the final third, so he should be good. We-ve had good players playing there already with Simmo (Matt Simon) doing a good job and Hutch (John Hutchinson) so if he can come in and give us something a bit different then that would be really good,” said Griffiths.
The Central Coast Mariners take on Sydney FC at the Sydney Football Stadium this Saturday, 28 August. Kick-off is at 7:30pm, and tickets are available from www.ticketek.com.au or by phoning 132 849.
Mariners Memberships for the Hyundai A-League 2010/11 season are still available at www.ccmariners.com.au or by phoning 1300 767 442.