Leeds United F.C. History
Leeds United F.C. History : Foreword
1919-29 - The Twenties
1930-39 - The Thirties
1939-46 - The War Years
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1949-57 - The Reign of King John
1957-63 - From Charles to Revie
1961-75 - The Revie Years
1975-82 - The Downward Spiral
1982-88 - The Dark Years
1988-96 - The Wilko Years
1996-04 - The Rollercoaster Ride
2004-17 - Down Among The Deadmen
100 Greatest LUFC Players Ever
Greatest Leeds United Games
Players' Profiles
Managers' Profiles
Leeds City F.C. History
Leeds City F.C. Player and Manager Profiles
Leeds United/City Statistics
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Griffiths: Joel Michael (Joel)

2006-2006 (Player Details)

Right Midfield

Born: Sydney, Australia: 21-08-1979

Debut v Stoke City (h) (substitute): 25-03-2006

6’0” 11st 11lb (2005)

His career started in Australia with junior clubs Menai Hawks and Sutherland Sharks before moving to NSWSL side Sydney United in 1997. He then played in the National Soccer League with Sydney United, making seventeen starts and eleven games from the bench in the 1998-99 season, in which he scored eight goals. He moved to Parramatta Power for the 1999-2000 season, when he scored eleven goals in thirty starts. He represented Australia at the FIFA World Youth Championship in Nigeria in 1999. He remained with the Power for the 2000-01 season, netting four times in twenty-one appearances before moving to Newcastle United for the 2001-02 season, in which he scored ten goals in twenty-four games, which he followed up with a further eighteen goals in twenty-one games in the following season. His next move took him to Switzerland where he spent almost three seasons with Neuchatel Xamax, but there he played more of a midfield role which saw him score twice in twenty-nine games in the 2003-04 season, followed by one goal in thirty appearances in 2004-05 and had scored once in thirteen games before he was transfered to Leeds United on 17th January 2006, a total of four goals in seventy-two games for the Swiss club. While in Switzerland he had picked put his first Australian cap on 9th October 2005 against Jamaica as a substitute and scored on debut before famously hopping up and down like a kangaroo, in celebration. This was Australia's final warm up match before their World Cup qualifier play-off match against Uruguay. Griffiths signed a one-and-a-half year deal with the Championship side on 17th January 2006, after trialing with the club for a week and impressing manager Kevin Blackwell enough to offer him a contract. The club and Griffiths had to wait for an international clearance from his former Swiss club Neuchatel Xamax. He only managed two substitute appearances for Leeds and Griffiths attributed the lack of first team football to the perceived animosity from ex-Leeds manager Kevin Blackwell who only provided "non stop criticism". This also impacted on his chances of playing in the 2006 FIFA World Cup, which Australia qualified for after beating Uraguay on penalties. He left Leeds on 31st July 2006 and joined Newcastle Jets in the A-League. He then gined his second Australian cap when he played in the home game against Kuwait in the 2007 Asian Cup Qualifier that the home team won 2-0 on 16th August 2006. He had a good first season back in Newcastle being the Members’ choice as Player of the Year and scored seven goals in twenty-one starts. In the 2007-08 his twin brother Adam Griffiths joined the team. With the loss of key attacking players such as Nick Carle, Milton Rodriguez and Vaughan Coveny, Griffiths became the key to the Jets attack throughout the season. Griffiths was in career best form for much of the season. He scored two stunning goals against Melbourne Victory and this saw him called into the training squad for the A-League based Socceroos. In January 2008, he was named in the twenty-two-man Socceroos squad for the training camp at Sydney. Unfortunately he had to withdraw due to injury. At the end of his outstanding season he had scored fourteen goals in twenty-three starts, which won him the A-League Golden Boot award. Newcastle Jets finished second on goal difference at the end of the season, but went on to win the Grand Final. Griffiths won the Johnny Warren Medal for best player, the Newcastle Jets player of the year award and the Newcastle Jets Members' Player of the Year award (for the second successive year) for the 2007-08 season, as well as the Golden Boot award. He played his third an possibly final time for Australia on 23rd May 2008 when Australia beat Ghana 1-0 in Sydney. In the 2008 close season he joined Japanese side Avispa Fukuoka and scored three times in nine games before returning to Newcastle for the new season. He scored seven goals in fifteen starts and one substitute appearance in the 2008-09 season and Griffiths was set to become the Newcastle million dollar man, and play as a marquee player. However, the move was cancelled, with Griffiths joining brother Ryan at Chinese club Beijing Guoan on a year's loan. In July 2009 Griffiths cast doubt on his return to Newcastle as he was being paid A$700,000 a season with the Chinese side, whereas he would get A$350,000 with Newcastle. Griffiths had made a good start in China where he was the club's leading goalscorer with five goals in nine games and was part of the team that won the Chinese Super-League Championship, but his season was marred by a succession of suspensions. He finished the 2009 season with eight goals in twenty games. He was due to return to Newcastle in January 2010 but did not favour returning and suggested he could go to Dubai or Saudi Arabia if there was no interest from China. Griffiths still had two seasons left on his contract after the 2009-10 season finished and Beijing Guoan had until November 2009 to exercise its option. They paid Newcastle A$500,000 for the one year loan and had the right to buy out the remaining two years of Griffiths' contract. Newcastle put a transfer fee of A$1 million on Griffiths. On 19th January 2010, Griffiths signed permanently for Beijing Guoan for an undisclosed fee. he finished the 2010 season with six goals from twenty-eight games and in the following season of 2011 scored eleven times in twenty-eight games. At the end of his contract in January 2012 Griffith refused to re-sign and went to Guoan's rivals Shanghai Shenhua on a free transfer. His twin brother, defender Adam Griffiths, played for Bournemouth and Brentford after also being with Watford and joined him at Newcastle Jets. His younger brother Ryan, a striker/left winger, played in Bucharest and with Newcastle Jets and for a time played with his elder brother at Beijing Guoan and also played five times at full level and scored twice in nine appearances for Australia Under-Twenty-Three.

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