Profile: Can Rostyn Griffiths lift Mumbai City FC this season?
(Courtesy : MCFC Media)
The England-born Australian has signed a one-year contract with the Islanders.
Mumbai City FC announced the signing of Rostyn Griffiths on Sunday, 10th July. This move comes after a busy transfer activity from the Indian Super League franchise in this transfer window. The Islanders acquired the 34-year-old from A-League side Melbourne City FC, both clubs being a part of City Football Group.
The Islanders have strengthened their squad and signed the Australian to make a comeback in the upcoming edition of the ISL. Griffiths has spent most of his time in the A-League. The centre-back carries tons of experience and has won many titles for the A-League side.
He has also made five appearances in the AFC Champions League with Melbourne City bagging two wins and three draws. Griffiths is expected to play an instrumental role in staging a comeback for the Islanders in the upcoming edition of the ISL.
Born in Stoke-on-Trent, England, Griffiths started his youth career for the Australian club ECU Joondalup. The 34-year-old joined Blackburn Rovers in 2006 where he couldn’t make a senior appearance. He was loaned to a couple of clubs during his stint with Rovers - including Scottish club Gretna and third-tier English club Accrington Stanley.
In 2009, he was signed by A-League side Adelaide United as an injury replacement. Since then he has played majorly in the A-League with brief stints in China, Uzbekistan, and the Netherlands. In 2016, Griffiths signed for Perth Glory FC and also captained the team. This shows that he is reliable and able to lead from the back.
In his ten years as an A-League player, the 34-year-old has won three Premiership titles and the Championship Cup once. The first A-League Premiership came during his stay at Central Coast Mariners in 2011-12. At Melbourne City, the defender lifted a league double - the Premiership and Championship cup, in 2020-21.
The following year the side retained the Premiership title after topping the league stages. The UK-born surely was impactful during the tenure. Griffiths would be joining the 12th club of his career in the form of Mumbai City.
Type of Player
Rostyn Griffiths' primary position is centre-back, but his acute passing, stature, and versatility allow him to operate as a central defensive midfielder as well. Using his body, he blocks the opponents from snatching the ball and can provide defence-splitting passes.
Accurate and timely tackles are his characteristic feature. With his height of 1.88 meters (6’ 2”), he can protect the ball while having possession. Despite his loftiness, he is quick on his feet and puts the opposition players under pressure with his pressing.
Griffiths has scored some beautiful goals in the form of long-range shots from outside the penalty box. The defender is also a beneficial asset during set-pieces due to his height and tactical sense. In the pivotal (defensive midfielder) role, he can control the tempo of the game and can attack when required. Also, he can be at the right place at the right time to halt the opposition attack.
The 34-year-old can launch long balls up the pitch towards the wingers, and trudge forward to assist the offensive third while offering to take a glance at goal from outside the box. Interceptions to break opposition play is also his forte.
What does he bring to the team?
He would be reuniting with the head coach Des Buckingham, who was the assistant coach of Melbourne City back in the 2020-21 season. This makes Griffiths aware of the tactician's philosophy and hence would help him adjust faster to the team.
Rostyn Griffiths possesses a huge skillset and the experience he brings to the team would be massive from the Islander’s point of view. He would also be a huge asset for the young players, as they can learn from him and enhance their game.
Coming from a Premiership-winning campaign, he would also be beneficial in uplifting the mood of the camp and motivating players to strive and win.
“This is a new challenge in my life and I’m ready. We’ve got a solid squad, with a great mix of youth and experience, and I am really excited to be part of it. I look forward to working with my new teammates and most importantly make the passionate fans of Mumbai City proud,” commented Griffiths after completing his move. This portrays the optimism and breath of fresh air he is going to bring to the club.
The upcoming season is one to look forward to for Mumbai City fans. Last season, their goal difference was only +5 with 31 goals conceded. The arrival of Rostyn Griffiths will fortify the defensive setup and bolster the confidence of the players.
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