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New Wanderers signing set for Phoenix

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 31/01/2017 Emma Kemp

New Western Sydney forward Ryan Griffiths has urged fans to watch him back in A-League action before denouncing him as an ageing has-been.

The well-travelled 35-year-old has joined the Wanderers until the end of the season "in good nick" and hopes to prove it Saturday's game against the Phoenix in New Plymouth.

Griffiths is charged with providing the goals that have eluded the grand finalists this spluttering campaign.

Coach Tony Popovic has been in the hunt for another striker to convert his squad's engaging play since the Kerem Bulut experiment failed and left him low on stocks.

A host of high-profile foreigners including Eduardo, Robbie Keane, Didier Drogba and Dimitar Berbatov have been linked with a move to the red and black.

But Popovic, severely inhibited by salary-cap restrictions and the rejection of his guest marquee bid for Eduardo, settled for an Australian with Asian Champions League experience to help guide the club on the continent next month.

And no sooner had news of his arrival from Hong Kong outfit South China leaked, Griffiths was already on the receiving end of criticism.

"Everyone's bagging me about my age," he said on Tuesday before his first training session.

"A lot of people do criticise older players, but also a lot of people criticise players when they haven't seen what they've done recently.

"People are quick to jump on anything, and while I respect everybody's opinion I guess they can only judge after watching me on the field, hopefully on the weekend (against Wellington)."

A true journeyman, Griffiths' diverse career spans 18 years, mostly in Asia and particularly China, along with a stint in Romania and two prior A-League spells at Newcastle and Adelaide.

Griffiths admits the transition from Asia's steady-paced football to the comparably quick A-League shapes as another test, but assures fans need not worry because there'll "definitely be goals there".

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