Having spent four years plying his trade in the United Kingdom – where derby matches divide cities, regions and even families as much as day separates night – Rostyn Griffiths is well versed in the anticipation and expectation that every derby encounter provides.
MARINERS- defensive midfielder Rostyn Griffiths is better equipped than most to handle the rough and tumble of this weekend-s F3 derby clash against the Newcastle Jets.
Having spent four years plying his trade in the United Kingdom - where derby matches divide cities, regions and even families as much as day separates night - Griffiths is well versed in the anticipation and expectation that every derby encounter provides.
During his time with Blackburn Rovers youth and reserve teams, Griffiths was involved in some intense “battles” against local rivals Bolton Wanderers in the Lancashire Cup.
While he missed playing in the hotbed of passion that an East Lancashire derby between Blackburn and Burnley provokes, Griffiths- experience still affords him a precise understanding of what this weekend-s fixture should bring.
“Bolton is very close to Blackburn and we had a couple of fierce games against them, especially in the Lancashire Cup,” Griffiths said.
“One match ended up 3-2 in the final, and it was a pretty big battle throughout the entire game.
“The people in the UK make a big deal out of derbies and it is good to see that here in Australia we are getting some real good ones too.”
“Obviously there-s ours, but the Melbourne teams put on a great spectacle as well.”
Griffiths conceded that while the teams he has been involved in attempt keep their derby day preparations as routine as possible, the tension in the sheds inevitably rises before kick-off.
“It-s a little bit different in the change room - the boys are a little more fired up than normal,” he said.
“The crowd is quite vocal during the game as well.”
The Mariners were unbeaten home and away in F3 derby fixtures against the Jets last term.
“Obviously we had good luck and good results against the Jets last season, so it is definitely a game we are looking forward to,” he said.
“And, to be honest it-s probably a game that we need at the moment to get us all fired up.”
Following the match against the Novocastrians, Griffiths, alongside teammates Joshua Rose, Mathew Ryan, Brad McDonald and Sam Gallagher will travel to Sydney to participate in a combined Qantas Socceroos and Qantas Australian U23s training camp.
Unfortunately, the Mariners will again be without inspirational skipper Alex Wilkinson, new recruit Stuart Musialik and crafty attacker Mustafa Amini for the match against the Jets.
Newcastle Jets vs. Central Coast Mariners Sunday 23 October - Ausgrid Stadium, Broadmeadow Kick-Off: 5pm (AEDT) TV: LIVE on FoxSports RADIO: LIVE on Coast FM (96.3FM) TWITTER: Follow LIVE match updates at www.twitter.com/CCMariners + join the conversation using the official match hashtag #HALjetsccm
Central Coast Mariners Squad: 1. Mathew RYAN, 2. Daniel MCBREEN, 3. Joshua ROSE, 4. Pedj BOJIC, 5. Brad PORTER, 6. Patrick ZWAANSWJIK (c), 8. Rostyn GRIFFITHS, 9. Bernie IBINI, 10. Adriano PELLEGRINO, 11. Oliver BOZANIC, 12. Troy HEARFIELD, 14. Michael MCGLINCHEY, 15. Brad MCDONALD, 16. Trent SAINSBURY, 17. Michael BAIRD, 19. Matthew SIMON, 20. Justin PASFIELD, 21. Sam GALLAGHER, 23. Adam KWASNIK *Four to be omitted*
Unavailable: 7. John HUTCHINSON (On Loan), 13. Stuart MUSIALIK (Adductor - 2 weeks), 18. Alex WILKINSON (Forearm - 1 week), 22. Mustafa AMINI (Groin - 3 weeks)