Reading FC release defender Andy GriffinBy Jonny Fordham
May 02, 2012
Andy Griffin has been released by Reading after two-and-a-half years at the club.
The right-back made 72 appearances for Royals after arriving from Stoke City in January 2010.
Griffin, aged 33, is keen to continue playing in the Championship after picking up a winner’s medal this season.
He said: “The two-and-a-half years I’ve been here I have thoroughly enjoyed.
“I’ve had my ups and downs this year, but I ended on a high by picking up a medal as part of a squad of champions.
My time here has been one of the best spells of my career and I’ve had quite a good career and been fortunate to have played in some good teams,” said the former Stoke, Derby, Portsmouth and Newcastle United defender.
Griffin paid tribute to Royals boss Brian McDermott, adding: “I’ve played for a good manager at a good club with some good footballers and also good men.
“The gaffer has nothing but respect from his players for being a good manager and a good man. I can’t speak highly enough of him and everyone else associated with Reading Football Club.
“To bounce back after losing the play-off final last season says a lot about the manager and the squad here. It’s a very demanding league and a new challenge now starts for the club to stay in the Premier League. Now is time for enjoying that success and all the guys at Reading deserve this.”
Griffin will be the first of a number of players heading for the exit door at Madejski Stadium this summer.
With Royals playing Premier League football next season and a new owner coming on board, McDermott will have cash to improve his squad.
Midfielder Brynjar Gunnarsson is keen to stay, but at 35 years old he knows a new deal might not be possible.
Versatile defender Matthew Connolly, who has been on loan from Queens Park Rangers since January, may stay after fitting in well. But strikers Nicholas Bignall and Cedric Baseya are all out of contract this summer and unlikely to be given new deals and Royals have an option to extended Brett Wlliams' contract, which is also up.
Midfielder Brian Howard is also free to find a new club while Tomasz Cywka, who joined on a six-month deal from Derby County in January, is another whose future is in the balance.
Reading lad Hayden Mullins is keen to stay at his hometown club and the 33-year-old would be available at a cut-price fee from cash-strapped Portsmouth.
Striker Benik Afobe has returned to Arsenal after making just three appearances for Royals since joining on loan in March.