Melbourne City recruit Rostyn Griffiths says he was set on remaining overseas after departing Uzbekistan – that is before Melbourne City came calling.
Griffiths spent a year in Uzbekistan with local giants Pakhtakor Tashkent – by his own admission, a lucrative move – before leaving the club early to seek out new opportunities.
The 30-year-old opted to return to the A-League and sign for Melbourne City having already played for Perth Glory, Central Coast Mariners and the old North Queensland Fury.
Speaking on Thursday’s Daily Football Show, Griffiths revealed he had planned to remain abroad further, but after City came calling, his head was turned.
“I was looking to remain overseas, I kind of felt like I wanted to and I was looking at those opportunities,” he said.
“But I think when a club like Melbourne City comes knocking, and they’ve got the City (Football) Group backing and the facility setup that they’ve got here in the north of Melbourne, I think it’s too difficult to turn down.
“The ambition of the club is high and I spoke the coach (Warren Joyce) and it’s nice to feel wanted.
“He spoke and made me feel like I was going to be a big part of his plans and that they needed a bit more experience in the squad.
“After weighing it all up with my wife, it was just too hard to turn down.”
City’s fourth new signing of the offseason, Griffiths made his debut in their 1-0 extra time win over Brisbane Roar in the FFA Cup a fortnight ago.
Griffiths lasted 68 minutes on the pitch before being replaced, and eventually, Bruno Fornaroli struck at the death to earn progression.
City are tasked with a meeting against last season’s A-League grand finalists Newcastle Jets at AAMI Park on 29 August.
Griffiths said he was hopeful to be fit enough to last the full 90 minutes.
“With the FFA Cup, it’s a good opportunity to get competitive games and not just play those friendlies over and over again,” he added.
“It’s a pretty long preseason, something that’s always tough, so these games are pretty exciting.
“You try to stay in the competition for as long as possible obviously.
“Newcastle Jets will be a completely different test and fortunately for us, it’s in Melbourne as well.
“I’m looking forward to that one and hopefully I’ll be reading for 90 (minutes).”
Riley McGree, Michael O’Halloran and Lachlan Wales have also joined City in the winter months.