JAMIE Griffiths is determined to prove to Ipswich manager Paul Jewell he was right to hand him a lifeline at the club after a back injury threatened to end his time at Portman Road.
The former Great Cornard schoolboy has admitted he feared the worst after a double stress fracture which has prevented the new manager from seeing him play left him among the last batch of players to hear their fate.
But the 19-year-old midfielder, whose heart skipped a few beats as he entered Jewell’s office last week, needn’t have feared, as a six-month contract offer was waiting for him, sparking massive relief.
“Obviously I am delighted,” Griffiths told the Suffolk Free Press. “It was the best outcome I could have hoped for.
“There is no way I would have got a year (because of the injury) so I was delighted.”
But as he jets off for his summer vacation to Egypt, Griffiths is hellbent on returning to Portman Road in tip-top shape, ready to hit the ground running when his manager gets his first glimpse of him on the pitch.
And Griffiths, who was snapped up by the club after his potential was spotted at Cornard Dynamos as an eight-year-old, has vowed to go back before the July 1 return date to get ahead of the game.
He said: “I will go back a week early and get my fitness levels up to make sure I am flying.
“I want to make sure I am fit and not behind as I have missed so long.”
Jewell’s late decision on Griffiths, after he had to watch a number of his close friends such as Cavendish’s Josh Meekings, hear they would not get a new deal, was due to assessing the medical report on the injury picked up in training just before Roy Keane was sacked.
Griffiths, who made his first-team debut for Ipswich in the fourth round of the Carling Cup against Northampton last season, is now determined to give it his all to prove himself worthy of an extension beyond the end of December.
He added: “It is the worst injury I have had and I am just looking forward to getting fit as soon as possible and pushing on from there.”
Griffiths will be called back to Portman Road over the next few weeks to formally sign his contract after giving a verbal agreement to the offer put forward.