Edwards: I Had Point to Prove Following Swans Exit
Thursday, 2nd Aug 2018 17:24
His failure to make the breakthrough with Swansea has been a major driving force in the career of Town new boy Gwion Edwards, who has featured prominently in pre-season and looks a likely starter in Saturday’s home clash with Blackburn that marks the first day of the new season.
Edwards is a proud Welshman – his birthday is even on St David’s Day – and he would have liked nothing more than to progress to first team level with the Swans, whom he joined at U15 level after earlier spells with Aberystwyth Town and Cardiff City.
But instead the 25-year-old winger took a roundabout route via a loan spell in Scotland with St Johnstone, before dropping down to League One with Crawley and then Peterborough, to whom Town handed over £750,000 last month to bring him to Portman Road as one of new boss Paul Hurst’s several new recruits.
Edwards admitted: “Yes, it was a major disappointment when I left Swansea. I had a pro contract but different managers came and went. You know how it is – some players get the chance and others just miss out. When it happens to you you’ve got to be strong mentally and look to prove a point.
“You can accept you might have to drop down a few leagues in order to play games and that’s what I did. I went on loan to St Johnstone and then I went to Crawley, worked my way back up at Peterborough and now I’ve got a chance with Ipswich in the Championship.
“I wouldn’t have changed my journey. I could have taken the easier way, progressing through the ranks at Swansea, but it’s the same in any job – you’ve got to work hard for what you get.
"That’s what I have done and I will carry on working hard now that I’m here because I want to do well for Ipswich.
“These days a lot of young players play in the U23 league and it’s not as good as the old reserve league used to be.
“As a young lad you need to go out and play senior football, where you’re in the mix and playing week in, week out.
“In my experience that will make you a better player and it will make you stronger, not just as a footballer but in life in general.
“You learn a lot of things doing it that way and it was definitely good for me. I’ve come a long way for this chance and I mean to make the most of it.”
Edwards has caught the eye during Town’s warm-up programme, in particular for his enthusiasm to take on opponents. His displays have confirmed there are few more spectacular sights in the game than seeing a winger get the better of a full-back before delivering a cross into the danger area.
The Welshman added: “I think I’ve done well in pre-season. Obviously, this time of the year is all about fitness and getting the minutes into your legs, and I think every single one of us has done well. Hopefully, there will be a lot more to come.
“Pre-season is always tough physically – I don’t think I’ve ever heard a player say it’s been easy. To be fair I’ve come in halfway through it so maybe I missed out on a bit of the running. We’ve been working hard these past few weeks and we’re ready to go on Saturday.
“The manager knows what I can do from the games I played against his team last year and that’s why he has brought me here, to show what I can do. I’m really direct and like to get at players. If there’s an opportunity to take someone on and get a cross in, or get a shot off, I’m going to do that.
“My first aim is always to get crosses into the box and create chances for whoever is playing up top or for the runners from midfield.
“If I can get into the box on the end of a cross, or I can get a shot off, I’m also going to try to add some goals. I got seven in League One last year and I hope I can add a few more now that I’m playing in the Championship.”
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