Griff's Goal

IT is not solely because of his non-footballing career that he has now put on hold that Rhys Griffiths is known as the Fireman.

The 32-year-old striker’s nickname owes as much as his ability to fire the ball into the net on an alarmingly regular basis –237 times from 320 League of Wales appearances.

The Green Army has already seen a glimpse of that firepower, when Rhys scored the winner in the Greens’ pre-season friendly at Truro City: one game, one goal to keep up his prolific average.

On Monday, he completed his move to Home Park from Port Talbot, and is eager to transfer the skills learnt in his years of terrorising League of Wales defenders into the npower League.

“I know how to play the position and I am looking forward to using that experience,” he said.

Rhys is a  late entrant to the full-time game, and sees that as an advantage to himself and to Argyle.

He said: “Being my age, it gives me the opportunity to grasp it with both hands, rather than think I’ve got years to come. I’ve got to make the most of it now.

“For some reason, it dawned on me in the summer that I’ve never played league football, and I should have.

“Whether it’s my fault I haven’t, or other people’s I’m not sure, but, all of a sudden, I became aware that, if the opportunity came, I needed to take it, otherwise it would be too late.

“I have looked after myself over the years and I feel good.

“I think there’s more to come than what people have seen so far.

“When you have scored as freely as I have over the years, it’s hard to imagine not scoring, but I’m going to be thinking about linking up play and doing the best for my team.

“If I do that, I am sure the goals will come.”

The Cardiff-born firefighter is the second highest goal scorer in the history of the Welsh Premier League, whose Golden Boot award for being the season’s leading scorer he has won for the last seven seasons while at Port Talbot and, most recently, LLanelli.

Not surprisingly, he was named in the Welsh Premier League team of the season for six years between 2005-11.

He moved from Llanelli to Port Talbot, who he had previously played for on two other occasions, at the end of last season before being lured to Argyle.

Rhys’s League of Wales career began at Cwmbran Town in 2001, and he also played for Haverfordwest County, Cwmbran and Carmarthen before hitting his straps with, first, Port Talbot, and, then, Llanelli between 2005-12.

In those seven campaigns, he scored 208 goals - two strikes shy of averaging 30 goals a season - in 213 games.

In 2005-06, he scored 28 league goals for Port Talbot, topping the Welsh Premier League scoring charts.

The following season, his first at Llanelli, he repeated the feat, this time with 30 goals, and, in 2007-08, he made it a hat-trick, with 40 goals as Llanelli won the Welsh Premier League for first time.

Totals of 31, 30 and 25 over the next three seasons saw him retain the Golden Boot and, last season, he again landed the award with 24 goals from 29 games.

To see our EXCLUSIVE interview with Rhys Griffiths, click here.