A 16-YEAR-OLD boy, who scored 14 senior goals in 12 starts and 10 U23 goals in just four games, has been the brightest spark in Andover Town’s second half of the season.

Centre forward Ryan Griffiths, ho came to the Andover Town squad in January after being released from the Oxford United academy, has lit up the league with his brilliant performances over the past four months.

Ryan played his debut match for Andover Town in January when came on from the bench against Whitchurch United.

The boy from Tidworth immediately made a big impact in the team with a goal in his first start against Fleet Spurs.

He hasn’t looked back since.

With two hattricks and a handful of important late goals, Ryan has helped the club stay in the playoff race over the next four months.

He also scored two hattricks in his four games for U23 team.

Andover Advertiser: Ryan Griffiths celebrating with his teammatesRyan Griffiths celebrating with his teammates

A student of Wellington Academy, Ryan is now preparing for his GCSE exams and has taken a small break from football, but his heart is always on the pitch.

“I have loved being part of Andover Town,” Ryan said.

“All the players, staff and supporters have been overly welcoming and made me feel really valued. My focus is now on my GCSEs and I am taking a rest from football. But I look to develop my game further next season.

“My target is to just keep enjoying football. And I just want to be a better player every season.”

Ryan’s dad Gerwyn Griffiths, who is a UEFA qualified coaching and a former player, is currently an assistant manager at Andover Town.

It was Gerwyn who brought Ryan to the Town after the boy was released from Oxford United academy.

"I had no idea how Ryan would cope with senior football wen I brought him in," Gerwyn said. 

Ryan grew up watching his dad play football for the British Army team.

"We lived in Cyprus for a little bit, and across the south of England and Wales. And it's really been difficult for him because he can only really get a club where there is a military base," Gerwyn said.

“When he was 12 he was scouted for Yeovil Town Academy. But the academy was later closed down. So he went on a trial at Reading, which was unsuccessful. He then went on a trial at Oxford, which was successful, but he was released later.”

Despite the setbacks from Yeovil, Reading and Oxford and a failed trial at Portsmouth, Ryan is looking forward to continuing his rich vein of form to next season.

The 5’7”-tall striker is still growing and developing his goal-scoring traits.

He is currently watched by a number of clubs in step three to six in the non-league circuit.

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