One of the most adventurous Australians - although he was born in Stoke - of his generation, the 33-year-old's career spans the length and breadth of football.

He started his career in style at then-Premier League stalwarts Blackburn, faded to Gretna in Scotland, returned to the A-League with Adelaide, and then the now-defunct North Queensland Fury.

After his third A-League spell in three years at the Central Coast Mariners, where he won a Premiership and almost began to settle in - he returned to the journeyman lifestyle.

He went to Guanghzou in China, Roda in the Dutch Eredivisie and had two spells at Perth Glory before a surprise shift to Uzbek giants Pakhtakor Tashkent. While the Uzbek club has a big reputation in Asia, it's a very tough life in the Central Asian nation, and Griffiths only lasted a season before leaving for family reasons.

Then 30-years-old, and having never reached 50 matches for a club, Griffiths then returned for his sixth A-League spell. Luckily, this time it stuck.

He's since broken the half-century for Melbourne City, playing a crucial role in the club's slow build towards the best years of its existence. It all culminated in the first league championship of his career.

"I feel a sense of atonement," Griffiths told The Global Game podcast.

"I've played for clubs that have had good seasons, and I've had decent seasons in the past. But I spoke to my brother about it, you can have as good a career as you want, but until you're winning things at the end you've got nothing to show for it.

"No trophy, no medal. This season I can finally say I've got a winners medal, a premiers plate, a championship. I'm just really enjoying being at the club, I haven't had this feeling since the Mariners."

Griffiths is loving putting up roots in Melbourne, and after racking up more than a hundred thousand kilometres travelled, says he doesn't even enjoy travelling to away games anymore.

For the first time in his career, he's also settled into the position that suits him best.

"I don't cramp when I'm in Melbourne," he continued. "I only cramp when I get off the plane somewhere else. 

"You're used to the change rooms, to the diet, it makes such a difference and gives you a definite advantage.

"I've made it well and truly clear I much prefer centreback. The way the game is played these days, centre backs have the ball more than the midfielders, the game is played in front of them.

"I'm regretful I didn't shift back there earlier in my career. I tried but it didn't quite work. It just suits me more nowadays than midfield."

Griffiths said that City's evolution has been credit to Patrick Kisnorbo, now his defensive mentor, and the club's star recruitment has set a new A-League precedent that their rivals will be forced to follow.

"It's been building that way, the mentality and belief in what we're doing," he said.

"You keep doing the same things and you start believing in what you're doing. So many games we've gone behind and in seasons past, that would be the end of Melbourne City.

"When we went behind to [Kosta] Barbarouses' goal, there was doubt in my mind. I thought here we go, are Sydney just going to hunker in the game and not have to come out. I was honestly, genuinely deflated.

"But we instantly shot back and from there really took over the game. We bounced back so fast, that's the good thing about having young players - it's almost naivety - they just keep going.

"The mentality has been huge, PK has brought it in from day one, it was only about mentality. When Jamieson scored the penalty, I knew. I was saying to people at half-time, we've won this. You're not supposed to, but I did.

"[Matt] Leckie was huge, Jamie [Maclaren] was so important. He's scored goals but a lot of clubs would easily cash in and let him go, you could probably sell him for a couple of million at the moment.

"It's really dangerous, then you throw in the likes of [Stefan] Colakovski and [Marco] Tilio...I just want to be a part of that.

"It drags other clubs along because other clubs go, if we want to compete, we need to do something similar."


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