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Joel Griffiths (born 21 August 1979) is an Australian football player who is currently playing for Chinese Super League club Beijing Guoan on-loan from Newcastle Jets.

Club career

He played for Sydney United, Parramatta Power and Newcastle United in the now defunct National Soccer League. He also had a brief stint with Leeds United where he made two appearances.

He joined the Newcastle Jets on 31 July, 2006, for an undisclosed fee after a brief spell in England with Leeds United, having signed from Swissmarker club Neuchatel Xamax on 17 January 2006. He only managed two substitute appearances for Leeds and Griffiths attributed the lack of first team football to the perceived animosity from ex-Leeds manager Kevin Blackwell who only provided "non stop criticism".

After joining the Newcastle Jets in the 2006-07 season Griffiths quickly formed the basis of the team that underwent a strong resurgence under new coach Gary van Egmond. His memorable performances include scoring two goals in extra time against Perth Glory in round 20 to draw the game at 3-3. At the end of the regular season Griffiths had contributed a total of 6 goals for the Jets. The Jets would finish third in the regular season and be narrowly knocked out of the chance to play in the AFC Champions League and the 2006-07 Grand Final.

In the 2007-08 Joel's twin brother Adam Griffiths joined the team. With the loss of key attacking players such as Nick Carle, Milton Rodriguez and Vaughan Coveny, Griffiths became the key to the Jets attack throughout the season. Early in the season Griffiths controversially assaulted a linesman, which he was awarded a yellow card for, narrowly escaping harsh punishment due to FIFA regulations. His performances on the pitch quickly lead him to be the focus of much media attention, with Griffiths remaining in career best form for much of the season.

2 stunning goals against Melbourne Victory in round 17 saw him called into the training squad for the A-League based Socceroos, but later had to withdraw from the squad due to injury. At the end of Griffith's outstanding regular season he had scored 12 goals, which earned him the A-League Golden Boot award. Finishing 2nd in the regular season on goal difference, the Jets later went on to win the Grand Final.

With the conclusion of the season, Griffiths joined J-League division 2 side Avispa Fukuoka on a loan spell. On 5 March 2008, it was announced that he joined the Japanesemarker club on loan. In July he returned to Newcastle.

Joel was set to become the Newcastle million dollar man, and play as a marquee player. However this was cancelled, with Griffiths joining brother Ryan at Chinese club Beijing Guoan on a year long loan.

Joel was suspended for 5 matches earlier in the 2009 CSL season for elbowing an opposing player, and then later on the year, given a 7 week suspension for making a gesture towards opposing supporters.

International career

He represented Australia at the 1999 FIFA World Youth Championship held in Nigeria. Griffiths made his debut for the full national team on 9 October 2005 against Jamaicamarker, scoring a goal before celebrating by hopping up and down like a Kangaroo. This was Australia's final warm up match before their World Cup qualifier playoff match against Uruguaymarker.

In January 2008, he was named in the 22-man Socceroos squad for the training camp at Sydney, but did not play the World Cup Qualifying match against Qatar due to injury.

Personal life

He married his childhood sweetheart, Bianca Jensen, in December 2007. His daughter, Gizelle Janson Griffiths, was born on April 29, 2009.

Honours

With Newcastle Jets: With Beijing Guoan F.C.: Personal Honours:

References

  1. 中베이징 궈안, 호주선수 영입 과정서 망신살 위기
  2. Leeds cost me cup place, says Socceroo
  3. Griffiths reaps the reward for returning
  4. Griffiths signs for Leeds as Greeks woo Colosimo
  5. He's earned our respect
  6. Two goals at the death keep Jets alive
  7. Griffiths is Australia material: van Egmond
  8. Top gun tells Jets to stay cool
  9. Adelaide squeaks through to final
  10. Jet Joel ready for Socceroo takeoff
  11. Australia crushes Jamaica
  12. Revealed: Pim's first Socceroos squad
  13. Jets' fury over Griffiths injury
  14. Griffiths: I nearly quit Jets
  15. Six of the best in Socceroo squad
  16. It's a girl for Joel Griffiths


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