Writer: Peter Simcox
Date:Friday January 11 2008
Griffin leaves Pride Park
Stoke City have announced that a £300,000 deal has been struck to sign Rams defender Andy Griffin.
The 28-year-old defender is expected to join the Championship side today for a third spell, subject to a medical.
He began his career at the Potters before moving to Newcastle United for £1.5m in 1998. He played 63 games for the Magpies before moving on a free transfer to Fratton Park in 2004.
He was loaned back to the Britannia Stadium last season, where he made 34 appearances as Stoke narrowly missed out on the play-offs.
They were keen sign him permanent, but Griffin signed for Derby in July last year on a three-year deal.
He has made 15 appearances for the Rams in the Premier League, including 13 starts - his last game come in the 1-0 home defeat to Middlesbrough on December 15.
Stoke chief executive Tony Scholes said: 'We are delighted to have come to an agreement to bring Andy back to the club.
'He was here last season and performed exceptionally well for us and manager Tony Pulis has been keen to sign him for some time.'
Griffin has signed a four-and-a-half year contract with City and hopes to see out the rest of his career at the Britannia.
"Yes, I probably do regret not signing last summer," said the 28-year-old defender.
"I don`t want people to think it was a rejection of Stoke City because at least 90 per cent of players would have done the same as me back then.
"I suppose you can get blinded by the lights of the Premiership and that`s why I chose Derby. I thought it was the last chance saloon.
'But when I was there, I kind of knew I had made the wrong decision. I realised it quite soon, but you live and die by your decisions.
"You don`t always realise how good a place is or how happy you are there until you are elsewhere.
"Now I am just happy to be back and it will feel good to be a part of the team again.
"It doesn`t really feel like I`ve been away because I`ve been down to watch five or six games and kept in touch with some of the lads."
Griffin joined the rest of the Stoke players when they left for tomorrow`s Championship showdown at Ipswich Town, but is unlikely to start at Portman Road after nursing a calf injury for the past month.
"I got a bit of a calf problem four weeks ago so I`ve not really trained except in the gym. I will be down on my fitness, but that`s nothing hard work cannot put right."
Date:Friday January 11 2008
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