Brent Griffiths is delighted to have broken back into the Wellington Phoenix squad and is now hoping to take the next step by being named in the starting line up for tomorrow’s Hyundai A-League game against Brisbane Roar at Dunedin’s Forsyth Barr Stadium.
Phoenix coach Ricki Herbert won’t name his team till tomorrow morning but there is every chance Griffiths will start at left back in place of the injured Tony Lochhead.
With Herbert taking an extra player on the trip south, and on to Melbourne later in the week, Griffiths, Cameron Lindsay and Alex Smith have been added to the squad that beat Perth Glory 1-0 on Saturday, with Lochhead and Mirjan Pavlovic (suspended) dropping out.
“It is great to be back on the road with the boys, because it is tough staying motivated when they are away and you are in Wellington working with a couple of other players,” Griffiths said.
“Should I get a chance at left back it will be exciting. I actually played in that position for Perth Glory last season against the Phoenix so I have some experience there.
“Playing there gives you a chance to get forward and of course every centre back thinks he should be a striker!”
Griffiths got his first look at the roofed stadium when the Phoenix trained at the venue on Monday night and the team was to train there again tonight.
“It is a great venue and hopefully we will get a good crowd which would make for a fantastic atmosphere,” he said.
It is also Griffiths’ first look at Otago and he was impressed with what he saw from the plane on the way in.
“Everything looked so green and lush which is in total contrast to Perth,”
“I was also on the trip to Auckland for the Adelaide game so thety Phoenix are giving me a chance to see New Zealand.”
On the field Griffiths says the team is targeting three points from their clash with the defending champions.
“The team did well to draw with the Roar in Brisbane and we want to go one better at what has to be considered a home game for us,” he said.
“They’ve had back to back losses after a great run. I’m sure they will come out fighting after that, but it is up to us to take the sting out of them.
“It probably helps that they have a couple of players out (Thomas Broich and Matt Smith) but we’ve had up to five players out for some games.
“Hopefully we are through the worst now and will get a better run.”
Wellington squad, Tony Warner, Mark Paston, Manny Muscat, Ben Sigmund, Andrew Durante (captain), Brent Griffiths, Leo Bertos, Nicky Ward, Vince Lia, Tim Brown, Cameron Lindsay, Daniel, Dani Sanchez, Paul Ifill, Chris Greenacre, Alex Smith.