Joel Griffiths leaves Sydney FC for China

Mark Metcalfe

Veteran striker leaves Sydney just before its overseas friendlies and training camp. Sky Blues will look outside the A-League for a replacement.

Joel Griffiths is leaving the A-League again, this time after just eight games. The Sydney FC striker scored three times in his brief stint with the Sky Blues but has parlayed that into a return to the Chinese Super League, though the club has not yet been identified. Sydney CEO Tony Pignata shared the news on 2MM radio's Soccer Stoppage Time, and was quoted in FourFourTwo Australia:

"Disappointed is a nice word to use, to be honest. Unfortunately he got a really good offer and good luck to the lad. It's a good deal for him but we'll just go out and get another striker.

"He said to me, 'Tony, there's no way I can knock an offer like this back at my age.' And we're not going to stand in his way. So good luck to Joel and hopefully things work out. If they don't, the door's always open.

"We're off overseas - who knows who we can bring back."

Griffiths, who has previously played nearly one hundred games in the Chinese Super League with Beijing Guoan and Shanghai Shensua, will be 34 in August. The 2007/08 Johnny Warren Medal winner with Newcastle Jets has always scored goals wherever he has played and Sydney were hoping to get more out of Griffiths than eight games and a suspension for abusing an assistant referee.

As Pignata mentioned, the Sky Blues will be seeking a replacement for Griffiths' striker position, though until that materializes, Corey Gameiro and Yairo Yau will have every chance to impress Frank Farina on Sydney's visits to Japan and Italy over the next two months.

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