GREAT Cornard’s Jamie Griffiths is determined to prove Paul Jewell made the wrong decision in terminating his contract at Ipswich Town.
The 20-year-old midfielder has been training with npower League Two Kent side Gillingham this week having impressed in a behind-closed-doors first-team friendly at West Ham United’s Upton Park.
And now the former Cornard Dynamos youth team player, who was Ipswich’s longest serving player having been there since the age of eight, wants to show he should not have been sent packing when the club are crying out for young players to re-address an age imbalance in the squad.
Griffiths’ six-month deal was not renewed in December, despite a loan spell at Plymouth Argyle that saw him make nine appearances at a time when the League Two outfit had players threatening to strike having not been paid.
But on returning to Suffolk, the writing for Griffiths surprisingly already appeared to be on the wall, amid the backdrop of the Championship club struggling at the bottom of the table with the manager admitting his squad was too old.
“It was the start of December and I was walking down the corridor and Paul Jewell said ‘we’ll have a chat with you later in the week’ but I knew what it would be about with the contract,” the former Great Cornard Upper School pupil told the Free Press.
“I went to see him and he said ‘we are not going to keep you, but you have been at the club a long time and I would not say this to anyone but I think you have a good future in the game’.
“It was hard to take. It was the first real bad news I have had as a footballer, but you have to be prepared for it and you can not dwell on it.”
He added: “I was kind of expecting it but I was still hoping to be given a chance as he had a lot of older players in the squad and might want to keep a few youngsters.”
Griffiths’ ex team-mate Tom Eastman, now at Colchester United, was able to get the pair’s former academy coach at the U’s, Richard Hall, to set up a trial with the left-sided midfielder, but despite promising talks, it did not lead to a deal.
“It went really well, they seemed really pleased with me but all the clubs have financial problems at the minute and they have not got the money to give youngsters a chance,” said Griffiths, who made his only senior appearance for Ipswich Town in the Carling Cup against Northampton Town last season.
But despite leaving Portman Road, Connor Wickham’s former room-mate said he will always be a Town fan and would love to come full circle with his career one day.
“I would never turn down the chance to play for Ipswich again, absolutely not,” said the Bury St Edmunds born player, also wishing to thank everyone at Ipswich, “but I have to now go out and prove they made the wrong decision.”