EXCLUSIVE: Ryan Griffiths has described Newcastle Jets striker Adam Taggart as an exciting player with a bright future who reminds him of his brother Joel.
Griffiths played alongside Taggart, who has scored six goals for the Jets this term, at Hunter Stadium last season.
“When he first came into the club I actually said to the coach ‘he’s a good player this one’,” Griffiths said.
“He still needs to develop a lot about his game but jeez what a striker.
"He gets in positions, he’s hungry to score. When he was playing with us back in friendly games he’d always score, and technical goals you know.
"He’d always put it away and you’d think ‘jeez he’s always going to score goals’.
"Last year, when I was playing, he came in and didn’t score at all and I was really surprised. I couldn’t really figure it out.
"But this year he’s come on. I think it’s just a confidence thing. Now that he’s scored a couple he’s going to continue to score goals throughout the year.
"He’s one to watch. He’s a typical striker and in my opinion, if he keeps his feet on the ground and just concentrates on playing well, he’s going to be one for the future.”
Taggart has been in hot form this season culminating in a hat-trick in Newcastle’s 3-1 win over the Melbourne Heart in round seven.
The former Young Socceroo and Olyroo, who first broke into the A-League with Perth Glory in 2010, received his first senior cap under Holger Osieck against Hong Kong in December last year.
Fellow forward, Griffiths, believes that Socceroo call-up came too early for the 20-year-old but he has developed a lot since then.
“He got the Socceroos cap when he didn’t really deserve to,” Griffiths said.
“A lot of people were surprised by that because he hadn’t really scored any goals or proven himself.
"But now, if he got a chance to go in the camp, I think it would be good for him. In the future he definitely should be there if he keeps going the way that he’s going.
"He’s an exciting player, he’s always shooting, he gets into good positions. He actually reminds me a bit of my brother Joel with that bit of mongrel in him.”
Based in Newcastle after his move to Malaysia Super League side Sarawak fell apart, Griffiths has kept a keen eye on the Jets this season. The 32-year old spent four years in total with the Hunter outfit including stints in the NSL and A-League.
“I think they’ve done really well,” Griffiths said of the club.
“The first few games they were playing that possession-based football but it was really negative, all the balls were getting played backwards and there was no real strike power up there.
"The coach has changed his tactics and it seems to be working. They’re playing a lot more entertaining football that’s for sure, they’re scoring goals and doing well."