Former Ipswich Town youngster Jamie Griffiths keen to kickstart career at Marketmen, after injury nightmare

New Needham Market signing Jamie Griffiths (centre), flanked by manager Richard Wilkins (left) and c

New Needham Market signing Jamie Griffiths (centre), flanked by manager Richard Wilkins (left) and chairman, Mark Morsley. - Credit: Archant

Former Ipswich Town youngster Jamie Griffiths can see light at the end of the tunnel following his injury nightmare, but the new Needham Market man is refusing to put a timescale on his return to action.

The 25-year-old penned a contract with the Ryman Premier Division side on Tuesday, having sat out the whole of last season at Long Melford after sustaining a serious knee injury in pre-season.

The injury struck Griffiths just as he was attracting interest from clubs higher up the footballing pyramid, having scored 31 goals in 44 games as the Villagers took the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division by storm in the 2015-16 campaign.

Without Griffiths, Long Melford narrowly avoided relegation, and were always going to face a battle to keep him, once he was on the road back to fitness.

“I know the gaffer (Richard Wilkins) and (chairman) Mark Morsley have wanted to sign me over the last couple of years,” said Griffiths, who, as a youngster, suffered a double stress fracture in his back at Portman Road.

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“Being out for a year has been tough but I am hungrier than ever and still want to play at as higher level as possible.

“The knee is feeling great and I have worked as hard as possible over the last few months following my surgery.

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“I don’t want to rush things and when I come back, I want to do it properly to make sure I am able to play football for the next 10 years, instead of breaking down again, and I will be working alongside (Needham physio) Rob Earle. Hopefully I will be back around September, October time.

Griffiths remembers clearly the moment he suffered his pre-season injury.

“It was a game at Brightlingsea Regent and I twisted one way and my knee went the other way and I felt a pop – like a huge crack – I knew it was serious,” recalled the forward.

“I’d had chats with clubs higher up at the end of the season before and I wanted to get myself fit.”

Speaking about his injury at Portman Road, Griffiths was asked if he would have been given another chance to impress then-manager Roy Keane had he not been sidelined.

“Possibly, but I couldn’t train at the same intensity as a professional footballer does every day for a period after the injury,” he admitted.

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