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Neil Griffiths

 
Neil Griffiths (pic. Tony Hickey)

Position:

centre-back or central midfield

DoB:
Age:
Birthplace:
unknown
24
Gloucester
 
     
     
 
City Career  
 
Transfer Details: Signed Southern League forms for City in March 1999 having impressed in both the youth team and the reserve team set-up.
City Debut: v Burton Albion (h) SLPD, 26th October '99, Won 2-1.
City Stats

1998/9: 0 App, 0 Goals
1999/0: 26(3) Apps, 0 Goals
2000/1: 31(4) Apps, 4 Goals
2001/2: 41 Apps, 4 Goals
2002/3: 56 Apps, 7 Goals
2003/4: 50(1) Apps, 3 Goals
2004/5: 43(1) Apps, 3 Goals
2005/6: 27(2) Apps, 0 Goals
Totals: 274(11) Apps, 21 Goals

 
Career Club History: Longlevens, Gloucester City, Shortwood United (loan 98/9), Cinderford Town
Honours: Midland Floodlit Youth League 98/9, GFA XI 01/2, SL Western R-up 03/4
     
 

Pen Pic:

 
Griff has proven himself to be the most capable of all the youth team graduates of recent years, quickly coming to terms with senior football. Griffiths is a hard working player, tenacious in the tackle and with good awareness of the movement of team mates and the opposition. It may also be no coincidence that since his former youth team mentor Chris Burns returned to the club in 2001 Griffiths once again looked a player of genuine quality after a patchy spell of form. After periods at right-back and in central midfield he is now settled at centre back, and proves an awkward man marker and difficult player to get past. A few forwards have been surprised by his turn of pace and he wins his fair share of headers despite not being the tallest of players. Will have impressed people with his unfussy displays in recent campaigns when he has contained some of the SLP's best forwards as well as those of two Conference sides in our Trophy run. Such is his reliability that his contribution often seems to go overlooked by press and fans alike, but he formed a key component in the City side for seven seasons. Finally left the club in a shock move to lower division Cinderford Town after the resignation of Chris Burns as manager in January 2006. 
Neil Griffiths

Still living in Tredworth Griff is one of those rare players who played like fans would want to, perhaps partly because he used to watch City as a youngster when his grandfather took him to games. He began his playing career as a boy at Longlevens where he also progressed to senior football before becoming the sixth player to sign SLP registration forms from City's youth team during the 1998/99  season. He didn't make it off the subs bench until City's financial crisis really began to bite in October 1999. However since taking his chance he was rarely been out of the side, and didn't hide during the 99/2000 relegation season when some more senior players were found so sadly wanting. He has evolved into an excellent stopper who reads the game so well he is rarely in the wrong place, this after a very wobbley start to his career as a centre-back when many people felt he needed to revert to midfield. Usually is also good for a few crucial goals during the season, often from headers at set pieces. 

His fighting qualities led to Tommy Callinan originally awarding him the captain's armband at just 19 after the sacking of Brian Hughes in March 2000 sparked a player exodus. Griff then retained the captaincy under his former youth team coach Chris Burns and repaid that faith by demonstrating his loyalty in turning down a move to Clevedon in September 2001. It was no surprise that his reliable form continued to excite interest from other clubs, but he remained loyal to the club citing his desperation to lead City to silverware. Perhaps it was surprising then that at the point when the arrival of Tim Harris as boss seemed to herald a new era of optimism that Griff should choose that moment to drop down a division and head for Cinderford Town. It is probably the lure of old friends including Will Steadman and Chris Burns that took him to The Causeway, but Griff still has many years ahead of him and it would not be a surprise to see him back home at Meadow Park at some point in the future.

 

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