Former Perth Glory defender Brent Griffiths today put pen to paper and officially became a Wellington Phoenix player.
The one-year contract the 21-year-old signed ended more than six months anguish during which he visited Adelaide United and Central Coast Mariners en route to Wellington.
To say Griffiths was delighted to join the Phoenix would be an understatement.
“When [Perth coach] Ian Ferguson told me my contract wouldn-t be renewed I didn-t realise just what a tough time I had ahead of me,” Griffiths said.
“When something like that happens it is easy to start feeling you aren-t good enough.
“That is when you need your family and friends to keep you going.
“I went to Adelaide on a two-week trial and when that didn-t work out the Mariners said I could train with them.
“I was there 10 weeks and that training stood me in good stead when my agent Nik Mandic arranged for me to trial with the Phoenix.
“It was a fantastic relief when Ricki Herbert said he wanted me to join the club because it has been a really tough time.
“Six months without pay is hard, especially when I have a mortgage on an apartment back in Perth to keep up with.
“I had to put off some payments and there was a time when I began to think it might be time to look for a job outside football.
“Whenever I thought that way I told myself I was good enough to get back into the A-League, and in the end that self-belief has paid off.”
When Griffiths took the field against the Mariners in Tauranga last Sunday he found himself facing his brother Rostyn.
The pair had been at Perth together but didn-t get to play a full game together.
“When he was in the team I always seemed to be injured or suspended,” Griffiths said.
“I didn-t get much time against him Tauranga either. Now I want to get a full game against him and come out on the winning side!”