Edwards Looking Forward to Championship Challenge
Thursday, 2nd Aug 2018 17:41
He isn’t alone in fitting the bill for Paul Hurst but recent recruit Gwion Edwards is certainly typical of the type of player the new Town boss is eager to bring to Portman Road.
His send-off from Peterborough, where he was a huge fans’ favourite, spoke volumes for the character of the former Welsh U19 and U21 international and he also left with an endorsement from Posh chairman Darragh MacAnthony ringing in his ears.
One can almost smell Edwards’s ambition to do well at Town and repay the faith Hurst has shown in him, and there is no one more determined than the ex-Swansea youngster to progress his career even further than Championship level.
Asked if it was an easy decision to leave Peterborough last month, the Welshman said: “It’s always sad when you leave a club but it is obviously a step up for me and that’s what I wanted. In the end it was a good deal for me and for Peterborough as well.
“I think they would have liked me to have stayed on but I think they got a good deal, while I’m happy and looking forward to the challenge ahead.
“When I moved from Crawley to Peterborough two years ago I was looking to kick on and win promotion with them. I wanted to get to the Championship but if it wasn’t going to happen with them I wanted to take that step with another club.
“Ipswich have come in and given me that opportunity to progress. It’s a massive club and as soon as I knew there was interest I was hoping to get the deal done. Both clubs got it done and I’m glad I’m here.
“I played for Peterborough against Shrewsbury last season when the manager was in charge of them. I know he wants players who give maximum effort and who are hungry with a point to prove.
“He wants his players to work hard and give everything they can. If you do that as a player you can’t have any regrets. It’s about enjoying what you do as well and that will happen when the results go our way.
“It’s like everyone says, this is a new era for the club and there are some fresh ideas coming from the manager and all the other staff who have come in.
“It doesn’t mean there was anything wrong with what was here before but I think sometimes you need a different idea, a different angle, a different approach, and that’s what the gaffer has done.
“I think everyone is enjoying it so far and we’re looking forward to Saturday and the first game against Blackburn.
“Shrewsbury were a very good side last season. That’s obvious because they were close to automatic promotion and only lost in the play-off final.
“They were a hard-working team and if one plan didn’t work they had another plan. They were relentless, as was shown from where they ended up in the table, and they could count themselves unlucky at missing out on promotion.
“I’ve seen the manager’s record at all his previous clubs and he’s done really well. Last season he really turned things round at Shrewsbury – look where they ended up. I have a few mates who have played under him and they only have good things to say about him and his staff. I’m really excited to be here and be part of this.
“Everyone in the team knows what is expected of them and understands the game plan, which has been the case throughout pre-season. Now we’re ready to get on with the real thing.”
Asked how excited he is to be playing at Championship level, Edwards added: “I’m very, very excited to be playing in the Championship and I’ve been looking forward to it since, well, when I was a lot younger. You want to play at as high a level as you can and this is my highest level so far, so I’m looking forward to it.
“Am I confident I can settle and shine at this level? Well, in my view, if you’re not confident and don’t believe in what you can achieve, you are going to fail. You have to be positive about what you are doing and look to go out there and show everyone you are going to progress.
“Everyone knows this is a tough league and Blackburn have just been promoted from League One. They are a big club and should never have been in League One, so it’s not going to be an easy game on Saturday.
“But we’ll be going out to do our best to collect all three points. I saw Blackburn last season and they were very good. They were one of the best sides, which showed with them coming up, and in the games I played against them they were very tough to play against.”
Meanwhile, Edwards is willing injury-plagued fellow countryman Emyr Huws to put his problems behind him and return to action as soon as possible.
He added: “I’ve probably known Em since we were 12 or 13. He was at Swansea and he was in the various Welsh squads.
“Em’s a really good lad and hopefully we can get him back on the pitch soon. He deserves a change of luck after picking up a few injuries over the years.
“We’ve kept in touch over the years and I can promise that when you’ve got a fit Em out there on the pitch he’s something else.”
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