Prolific hitman Charlie Griffin signs
Story courtesy of Danny Hall - Wilts and Glos Standard
CHARLIE GRIFFIN will lead the line for Cirencester Town on Saturday (3pm) when they play Gary Johnson’s new-look, Vanarama National League side Cheltenham Town in the first of two upcoming showpiece friendlies at the Corinium Stadium.
On Tuesday night (7.45pm), Cirencester host Darrell Clarke’s Bristol Rovers who have won promotion back to League Two for the 2015/16 season.
Griffin, a much-travelled centre forward, has been a prolific goalscorer and fans’ favourite wherever he has pulled on a shirt. Twenty-one goals in 30 games for his first senior club Chippenham Town, back in 1988/9, earned him a first brief spell in the Football League with Swindon Town. He ended last season back with Cirencester Town’s Southern Premier rivals Chippenham for his third stint at Hardenhuish Park where he showed he has lost none of his predatory instincts by scoring six goals in ten
games. But he turned down the opportunity of another campaign with Mark Collier’s side.
Griffin’s near-20-year career shows, if nothing else, that he is a model professional, a point not lost on Cirencester manager Brian Hughes. “Charlie is a very good pro who looks after himself,” said Hughes. “He has worked hard and shown a very good attitude in training and our young players like Josh Parsons and Aidan Bennett will learn a lot from him. Charlie lives locally in Malmesbury and now has a young family so he doesn’t want to do too much travelling.”
Griffin, 36, comes in to replace Nat Jarvis, the club’s top striker last season with 23 goals. Jarvis is pursuing options elsewhere, with Hungerford Town believed to be one of the sides courting him. Despite midfielder Matt Liddiard and winger Ed Williams also
having flown the nest, Hughes is delighted to have kept the vast majority of the first team regulars who provided him with success in the Glos FA Senior Cup last spring.
Griffin and Ross Langworthy, formerly of Shortwood United, are the only two confirmed new faces, with Hughes looking for just another couple of players to complete his squad.
“’Spud’ Herring was married in the summer and has only just returned to training, while Ross joins the group for the first time this week having been travelling in Asia,” said Hughes. “But the rest are in their second week of pre-season and look in good shape.”
Herring and Mark Pritchett will miss the first three games of the league season after picking up red cards late in the 2014/15 campaign, but both will play a full part in the warm-up games.
“I have enough players to put out a different XI in each half on Saturday and the first team will probably be given the first hour against Bristol Rovers,” said Hughes.
Gary Johnson has brought in ten new signings and Saturday will be Cheltenham fans’ first chance to run the rule over them.
Among Rovers boss Darrell Clarke’s close-season signings is former Swindon Town player Cristian Montano and Clarke is currently casting his eye over a further four triallists.