Griffiths remains realist during club shake-up

JETS star Ryan Griffiths said yesterday he was saddened by the sackings of four members of the football advisory board but he supported the direction the A-League club was heading.

Honorary board members Keith Harris, Joe Senkalski, Neil Jameson and Cheryl Salisbury were told on Tuesday they were no longer required by the Hunter Sports Group.

Chairman Ray Baartz has retained his role.

‘‘Personally I know the guys and all of them are really good people,’’ Griffiths said.

‘‘Obviously they’re very successful people and players and it’s just something the club has to deal with.

‘‘It’s not really up to us players to explain what’s happened there.

‘‘It’s really difficult for us players as we get thrown all these questions and asked about all these situations, but at the end of the day it’s something the club has decided to do and I’m sure they have their reasons.’’

HSG management are yet to explain why the four board members were sacked.

‘‘It’s obviously sad to see them go, but I really hope they will still support us and be there in the future,’’ Griffiths said.

The main focus for Griffiths right now is the pending birth of his second child due on June 6.

The 30-year-old said he was carrying his phone onto the training park in case he received a call from his wife Lauren.

The pregnancy added an extra level of stress during HSG’s stand-off with the Football Federation Australia in April where HSG handed back the A-League licence casting the Jets into limbo.

There was no more relieved Jets player on May 1 when it was announced that a resolution had been struck between Tinkler and FFA chairman Frank Lowy.

‘‘I’m sure I would have found another place, but I’m glad it’s here in Newcastle,’’ Griffiths said.

Griffiths is one of the senior citizens of a young Jets line-up.

He filled in as captain in Jobe Wheelhouse’s absence last season and his leadership qualities are expected to become more important this season given the influx of youthful recruits.

‘‘I’m always giving it to the younger players,’’ he said of Monday’s first training session.

‘‘I always say, ‘You have to keep up with me,’ so there’s a lot of banter. They’re calling me old man and I’m only 30, but I’m copping it left, right and centre so it’s a good fun atmosphere.’’

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