Rhys Griffiths hopes to take on Pilgrims next season with Newport
Luckless former Plymouth Argyle striker Rhys Griffiths has no regrets about his short time at Home Park.
Griffiths, who was brought to Plymouth from Port Talbot Town last summer for his first taste Football League action by former manager Carl Fletcher, was released by Argyle when new boss John Sheridan took over, after an injury-riddled period with the Devon club.
However, the Welsh striker bears no animosity towards the npower League Two strugglers – and he is convinced the Pilgrims will stay in the Football League.
Griffiths is looking forward to playing against his former team-mates if his present club – Newport County – can gain promotion to League Two as Blue Square Bet Premier champions.
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Griffiths, 33, made his first start for County on Tuesday since he last played for a Plymouth reserve team back in January. Shortly that run-out, Griffiths, who had been plagued with a series of calf injuries, had his contract at Argyle cancelled by mutual consent at the end of January. The former fireman was soon snapped up by Newport.
The big target man had put on hold his career with the fire service so he could pursue his dream of playing in the Football League. Griffiths, however, has no regrets about his time at Home Park.
He said: “To me, the club is a Championship club. To say I’ve been able to play in League Two football is good, but to be able to say I’ve played for a massive club like Argyle is something else.
“The one regret I do have, and it isn’t really a regret, is that the fans at Home Park never really saw what I can do, because I seemed to be always injured. I feel, however, I’ve been lucky with injuries in the past, but these things even themselves out and it was just hard luck at Plymouth.
“I was desperate to play for Argyle, because the whole team needed a lift, but I was put in a bit early. I am fine now – I’m just hoping to play as much as I can.
“I played for an hour against Hereford on Tuesday, which was good. I even scored, but it was ruled offside.”
Newport are going well in non-League football’s top flight. They are in a play-offs place, but are only three points below leaders Wrexham with two games in hand.
Griffiths, who has made one start and two substitutes appearance since joining County, said: “I am desperate to do well with Newport. I really want to be part of a team which gets promoted.
“I didn’t have the time to do myself justice at Argyle, but I really enjoyed it and I wouldn’t change it for anything. I’ve still got a lot of friends in Plymouth and I don’t want to be part of a team which gets relegated. I know I’m not there now, but I still would have been part of that squad.
“I know most of the players at Plymouth and I’ve got a lot of respect for them. They are easily good enough to be in the play-offs, although that hasn’t happened for some reason.
“I just hope we get promoted and Plymouth stay up – and we end up playing each other next season.”
With Griffiths in their starting line-up, Newport – who are managed by former Tottenham Hotspur full-back Justin Edinburgh – won 3-2 at Hereford United on Tuesday.
County twice came from behind against the Bulls to take all three points with a stoppage-time strike from substitute Robbie Willmott.