thumbnail Hello,

The forward is looking forward to renewing his acquaintance with Sydney FC's superstar after sealing a return to the A-League from China

Joel Griffiths is eagerly awaiting a return to A-League action, where he intends to dish out some rough treatment to former team-mate Alessandro Del Piero.

Griffiths, 34, joined the Newcastle Jets last week after being released by Chinese club Qingdao Jonoon.

The forward struck up a fruitful relationship with Italian star Del Piero during their time together at the Sky Blues last season.

But the former Juventus man may want to pack his shin pads when the Jets take on Sydney next month.

"I just sent him [Del Piero] a text saying if he comes close to me in a game I will kick him," he jokingly told Goal.

"He is such a legend, on the park he is a magician, it's like a game of chess for him but off the field he is such a humble and giving character, a pleasure to be around."

Griffiths described learning from former Chelsea strikers Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka at Shanghai Shenhua as the highlight of his stint in Asia.

"Playing with Drogba and Anelka is one of the [highest points of his China career] but meeting all my team-mates and coaching staff were good times," he said.

"I was hanging from every word, how they prepared, how they beat players and defenders and how to outsmart situations."

It will now be up to Griffiths to demonstrate what he learned when he takes to the field for the Jets in the second half of 2013-14.

Beijing-based Peter Davis has followed Chinese football since 2008 and is a regular contributor to the popular Chinese football blog Wild East Football. Follow him on Twitter at @peteydavis