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Page last updated at 07:18 GMT, Wednesday, 30 June 2010 08:18 UK

Llanelli boss Andy Legg admits Griffiths Euro dilemma

Uefa Europa League first qualifying round first leg - Llanelli v FK Tauras
Venue: Stebonheath Park Date: Thursday, 1 July Kick-off: 1905 BST
Coverage: Score updates on BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cyrmu and BBC Sport website


Rhys Griffiths
Rhys Griffiths is a five-time winner of the Welsh Prem's golden boot award

Llanelli top scorer Rhys Griffiths hopes his honeymoon period continues in the Europa League clash with FK Tauras.

Griffiths, the Welsh Premier's second-highest scorer, returns from honeymoon on Wednesday night - just 24 hours before Llanelli play the Lithuanians.

The 30-year-old striker, scorer of 131 goals in four years at Llanelli, is yet to feature in pre-season and Reds boss Andy Legg admits he has a "dilemma".

"If he wasn't so prolific we wouldn't entertain playing him," said Legg.

"But because he is such a prolific goal-scoring threat to the opposition and he scores most of our goals, it means I have a difficult decision to make."

The five-times Welsh Premier golden boot winner - who has scored 188 league goals to move behind the Welsh Premier's all-time leading goal-scorer Marc Lloyd Williams - is a full-time fireman and renowned for his supreme fitness.

We'll need to be at our best if we are to get a positive result against FK Tauras

Llanelli manager Andy Legg

Griffiths celebrated his marriage earlier this month and has missed both Llanelli's pre-season friendlies and two weeks of training.

He does not return from honeymoon until Wednesday night and Legg fears Llanelli's star man may not be in the required condition for such a "tough" match against a full-time side, full of Lithuanian internationals who are halfway through their top-flight season.

"Normally it would be a no-brainer as Rhys has missed most of our pre-season preparation," said Legg.

"But because Rhys is such a fit lad and a great goal-scorer, then we have to consider playing him as he has been far and away our top scorer for the past four seasons.

"We always knew he was getting married and going on honeymoon now so we had planned around it to a certain extent, but still a tough decision has to be made.

"Everybody wants to play in these games, and his 30 goals last season played a major part in getting us into Europe and I'm sure he has been keeping his fitness up while he is away, because he is that kind of dedicated footballer.

"But he has missed our training sessions and pre-season games so I must consider what is in the best interest of the team - whether we put him straight back in and risk him or put him on the substitutes bench."

Griffiths has turned down offers to become a professional footballer in the Football League to remain a part-timer with Llanelli and a full-time fireman.

And he could form a new Llanelli strike partnership against FK Tauras - fourth in their league - on Thursday with ex-Welsh international Chris Llewellyn.

The former Norwich City and Wrexham frontman is a summer signing from Neath Athletic and could lead the line with Griffiths.

Legg, the former Wales international full-back, enjoyed a fairytale start to management when his Llanelli side shocked Scottish Premier League side Motherwell 1-0 in last season's Europa League first qualifying round, first leg - before going out after losing the second leg 3-0.

And as Llanelli prepare for an unprecedented fifth successive European campaign, Legg has told his players: "That first-leg win over Motherwell shows we can compete and beat the best on our day.

"And we'll need to be at our best again if we are to get a positive result against FK Tauras, who have won their last four in the league and only conceded six goals in the league all season."



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see also
Llanelli 2-2 FK Tauras
01 Jul 10 |  Welsh
TNS secure fifth Welsh Prem title
24 Apr 10 |  Welsh
Llanelli 0-3 Motherwell (1-3)
09 Jul 09 |  Europe
Motherwell 0-1 Llanelli
02 Jul 09 |  Europe
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales


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