Newcastle Jets bring back Joel Griffiths

Mark Metcalfe

The Jets legend returns but Newcastle will lose Nathan Burns.

Joel Griffiths is coming back to Newcastle. The star striker is now 34 years old but is still scoring goals after yet another spell in China. Griffiths, who won the A-League's golden boot and the Johnny Warren Medal in the Jets' championship season of 2007/08 spent eight games with Sydney FC last season.

Griffiths, who will be under contract at Newcastle through the end of the 2013/14 season, explained the move in a club press release, with an eye toward reassuring fans he won't bolt at the earliest big money offer:

"It was more about love over money, that was the biggest thing. There were definitely offers from other clubs involving much, much more money, but I've always wanted to come back to where it all began and I've been going to bed dreaming about this move.

"I've just followed my heart this time. Most of my career I've been following my head, especially when I left the Jets before. But this decision was all about my heart. I'm really happy with how everything has panned out and I'm very excited to play in Newcastle again.

"It will probably be a little bit emotional for me. Newcastle, for me, is one of those clubs where I can really start enjoying myself again. I definitely feel like I do play with my heart on my sleeve at this club, more so than any other club I've been at.

"There's a big challenge ahead, but I'm really looking forward to that. Once I put that Newcastle jersey on, it's a different me, I can't describe it."

Meanwhile, the Jets will be without Nathan Burns for the rest of the season after the terms of his loan form K-League side Incheon United have expired. Burns played his final game with the Jets on Friday night against Melbourne Victory and scored twice in his twelve games at the club. Jets CEO Robbie Middleby noted in the Griffiths press release that the club is in discussions with Incheon United to eventually bring Burns back.

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