Adam Griffiths signs with Gold Coast

NEWCASTLE Jets midfielder Adam Griffiths has signed a three-year deal with new A-League franchise Gold Coast United.

Griffiths is the second big name, following North Queensland-bound captain Jade North, to announce his departure from the Jets.

Their imminent exit comes hot on the heels of the shock return to Ecuador by marquee striker Edmundo Zura earlier this month.

Like North, Griffiths is contracted until the end of June and will be available for the group stage of the Jets' Asian Champions League campaign before heading to the Gold Coast.

Griffiths has been linked to the Gold Coast for some time but only put pen to paper on Tuesday.

The deal, believed to be worth around $200,000 a season, includes allowances for a move overseas.

"People have to realise it is a business now," Griffiths said.

"Players come and go.

"The package they offered was really good. Financially it was a big step up from what I am on here and they also gave me some options that Newcastle would not with regards to capping transfer fees."

Griffiths returned to Newcastle from England last season to play alongside twin brother Joel.

Though disappointed to be leaving, Adam said he was his own man and had to do what was best for himself and fiancee Lilly Brown.

"I spoke to Joel briefly about it," Adam said.

"He obviously wanted me to stay and is disappointed.

"But I am my own man. I made the decision in consultation with Lilly. I also spoke to my dad, and he said to do what ever was best for me.

"That's what I have done.

"To play alongside my brother was great.

"But, like most players who have left, there are other options and unfortunately that's the way it goes."

Griffiths's versatility and wholehearted performances have made him extremely popular with Newcastle fans.

"It was a very hard decision," he said.

"Newcastle has been good to me. I have enjoyed my time in Newcastle and hopefully will enjoy the rest of my time here."

Griffiths had previously stated his preference for a return to Europe where job opportunities would be improved for his actress fiancee and had also indicated he would wait until January to make a decision on his future.

"It came to a point where I did not think it would have made a difference to Newcastle," he said.

"The talks had come to a standstill and I did not think anything was going to change.

"I still have feelers overseas, and if something comes up I will look at it."

Griffiths said he only finalised the deal in the last couple of days.

"I pretty much made the decision in the past week," he said.

"I have finalised things now, and I can concentrate on the rest of the season with Newcastle.

"That is all I want to focus on. I want to make sure we are in the top four and then go well in the Asian Champions League."

Griffiths and Matt Thompson were sent to Melbourne to play youth league on Saturday.

Though disappointed by the call, Griffiths said it had no bearing on his decision.

"[Coach] Gary [van Egmond] has his reasons for doing certain things," Griffiths said.

"I was disappointed, but I just got stuck in and did what I had to do to get something out of the game.

"Sometimes you think you should not be playing, but sometimes it turns out to be beneficial.

"It has certainly given me plenty of motivation. Every training session I go into I want to prove to him I am the best player he had on the pitch."

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