Griffiths’ inside info could trigger Kiwi downfall

He’s racked up almost 9,000 kilometres of travel this week, but Mariners defensive midfielder Rostyn Griffiths insists he’s as fresh as ever, and ready to finish a marathon few days – which included a trip home to Perth – with victory over Wellington Phoenix at Westpac Stadium.

He-s racked up almost 9,000 kilometres of travel this week, but Mariners defensive midfielder Rostyn Griffiths insists he-s as fresh as ever, and ready to finish a marathon few days - which included a trip home to Perth - with victory over Wellington Phoenix at Westpac Stadium.

Just hours after the final whistle in the Mariners- 1-nil triumph over North Queensland last Friday night, Griffiths was in the air on his way across the Nullarbor toward Perth, to join the celebrations for his Mum-s 50th Birthday, he also used the trip to spy on this Saturday-s opponents.

The trip proved fruitful for the older of the Hyundai A-League-s two Griffiths brothers, as well as staying in the good books with Mum, he was also able to report back to Graham Arnold, about what to expect from the Phoenix this weekend.

“Arnie was kind enough to let me get back for Mum-s 50th, so I-ve done a bit of travelling this week but I enjoyed it, I think I needed it mentally as well, but I-m refreshed and ready for the trip to New Zealand,” said Griffiths.

“She said to say thanks to Arnie, she appreciated it. It was a full house this week, my grandparents and Uncle were over from England so everyone was happy to see each other again and Mum appreciated it too so it was good.

“It ended up being a bit of a scouting trip as well, I managed to watch the game on Sunday and watch my brother, and they looked a little bit slower than they normally do, maybe the travel caught up with them a bit but they managed to get the goal.”

Of course, the last trip across the Tasman doesn-t make for great reading for the Yellow and Navy, it ended in a 2-nil defeat. In fact, the Central Coast hasn-t tasted success in the Kiwi capital since way back in October 2007, where their first ever visit resulted in their only win over Ricki Herbert-s men away from home thus far.

“They looked pretty solid, but I think playing against our sort of system we can open them up a bit and create a few chances and hopefully do a bit better than we did last time over there, now we know what the travel is like, everyone has gotten used to it so it should be a bit better this time around for us,” Griffiths said.

The 22-year-old is in arguably the best form of his short career, where he-s made the position at the base of the Mariners much-heralded midfield diamond his own as Graham Arnold-s men continue their tilt at the Hyundai A-League Premiership, but Griffiths insists there-s still more to come.

“It-s nice to hear people think I-m doing better than I have before, but as every player should, I always think I-ve got more to give. I-m reasonably happy, each week I think I-m getting better but it has probably come down to the team doing well, everyone has got to grips with everything.

“I-m happy, but I still think I-ve got a lot more to give and by the end of the season hopefully I-ll be even happier,” said Griffiths.

Arnold has shown a huge amount of faith in the former Blackburn Rovers, Adelaide United and North Queensland man, favouring him in recent weeks over foundation Mariner and vice captain John Hutchinson, who this weekend is unavailable for selection, after being called up to the Maltese National side, for a European Championships qualifier against Croatia.

“It just shows the quality of the squad, if I don-t play, people like John Hutchinson play, so Arnie took a bit of a gamble with me but I-d like to think I-m repaying him.

“I-m happy he-s given me a shot, I-ve worked hard this season, a lot harder than maybe I have in other seasons, I feel like I-ve really made the effort and got fit this season so maybe that has been rewarded, but again it shows the quality of the squad that if I don-t play there-s quality coming in,” Griffiths said.

The Mariners face an arduous test of endurance over the next month, playing eight games in a little over a month, and Griffiths says he for one, can-t wait.

“As a player you-re buzzing for it, it-s what we-re all looking forward to. With eight games coming up we-ve sat down and looked at it and everyone knows their job so we-re looking forward to it.

“The travel is a bit of a problem but we know how to combat that as well. Each game we-ve got slightly more confident and the more the games come along the more confident we-ll be,” Griffiths said.

Head-to-head: All matches (played 10): Wellington Phoenix wins 5, Central Coast Mariners wins 3 (2 draws)

Live and exclusive broadcast on FOX Sports 1, FS1 HD & Sky Sport 2 (NZ). A-League club broadcast partner is The Radio Network (Wellington) 1035AM and 96.3 Coast FM (Gosford). To purchase tickets visit www.ticketek.co.nz

Wellington Phoenix squad: 1. Mark PASTON (gk), 2. Manny MUSCAT, 4. Nick WARD, 6. Tim BROWN, 7. Leo BERTOS, 8. Paul IFILL, 9. Chris GREENACRE, 11. DANIEL, 13. Troy HEARFIELD, 14. Mirjan PAVLOVIC, 15. Jade NORTH, 17. Vince LIA, 18. Ben SIGMUND, 19. Danny VUKOVIC (gk), 21. Marco ROJAS, 22. Andrew DURANTE (c), 23. Dylan MACALLISTER, 26. Simon ELLIOTT *three to be omitted*

In: Nick WARD (promoted), Troy HEARFIELD (promoted), Mirjan PAVLOVIC (promoted)

Out: Nil

Unavailable: Tony LOCHHEAD (groin - 5 weeks), Oscar ROBERT CORNEJO (knee - 5 weeks)

Central Coast Mariners squad: Daniel MCBREEN, 3. Joshua ROSE, 4. Pedj BOJIC, 6. Patrick ZWAANSWIJK, 8. Rostyn GRIFFITHS, 10. Patricio PEREZ, 11. Oliver BOZANIC, 12. Matthew LEWIS, 14. Michael McGLINCHEY, 16. Trent SAINSBURY, 17. Chris DOIG, 18. Alex WILKINSON (c), 19. Matt SIMON, 20. Mathew RYAN (gk), 22. Mustafa AMINI, 23. Adam KWASNIK, 30. Paul HENDERSON (gk).? *two to be omitted*

In: Trent SAINSBURY (promoted)

Out: John HUTCHINSON (international duty)

Unavailable: John HUTCHINSON (international duty), Brad PORTER (knee - 12 weeks), Jess VANSTRATTAN (knee - season)

Referee: Peter O-LEARY