DAVID’S ED IS UP

In­ter­na­tional goal gives Birm­ing­ham’s David Edgar a per­fect pick-me-up

The Football League Paper - - INSIDE - By Joshua Richards

DAVID EDGAR may be a Canada in­ter­na­tional, but his New­cas­tle roots have helped him set­tle on th­ese shores at Birm­ing­ham un­der Ge­ordie Lee Clark.

The for­mer Mag­pies de­fender has been an in­stant hit with the St An­drew’s faith­ful and was voted the club’s player of the month for Au­gust, as he helped mar­shal the team to only one de­feat from their first five games.

Des­per­ate to avoid a re­peat of last sea­son’s strug­gles, boss Clark bol­stered his squad with 13 new faces this sum­mer – in­clud­ing Edgar.

And the 27-year-old, son of for­mer New­cas­tle keeper Ed­die, be­lieves it is tes­ta­ment to Clark that they have man­aged to gel so quickly.

“The man­ager got ev­ery­one in for the start of pre-sea­son and I think be­cause of that, we made a strong start to the sea­son and pro­duced some good per­for­mances,” he said.

Drub­bing

“I feel like I have had a good start and got a good op­por­tu­nity here. I need to main­tain that level of per­for­mance though and give the man­ager a se­lec­tion headache.

“Lee Clark knows what I’m about. I jumped at the chance to come here when I knew he wanted to sign me.”

It does not get much worse than go­ing into an in­ter­na­tional break on the back of a 4-0 drub­bing, but that was what faced Edgar.

And Birm­ing­ham’s de­feat at Wi­gan was still very much on the mind of the for­mer Burn­ley de­fender when he flew across the At­lantic ahead of Canada’s friendly with Ja­maica.

A goal in Toronto to help Canada win for the first time in 17 matches soon light­ened his mood how­ever, and, now back in the sec­ond city, Edgar be­lieves Blues can pros­per.

Kitch­ener-born Edgar said: “We got a dis­ap­point­ing re­sult against Wi­gan, which was bad tim­ing be­cause it’s never nice go­ing into the in­ter­na­tional break on that note. But it’s a long sea­son and I know we have got the play­ers in the squad to do well.

“If we fin­ish mid-ta­ble I think we would be quite happy with that, but you never know in this league. If you can put a lit­tle run to­gether then you can be in and around the play-offs very quickly.”

While keep­ing a close check on events in the west Mid­lands is Edgar’s prime pri­or­ity, the de­fender ad­mits he takes pride in see­ing how foot­ball is grow­ing back home.

And he hopes the next gen­er­a­tion of bud­ding foot­ballers will not have to over­come the same ob­sta­cles he did in or­der to ful­fil their dreams.

“I played as much as I could grow­ing up, but it was dif­fi­cult,” he adds.“I was part of a de­vel­op­ment pro­gramme in On­tario, but I was lucky to go to New­cas­tle when I did.

“Vir­tu­ally all of my fam­ily are Ge­ordies and I came over when I was 14 on their schol­ar­ship pro­gramme and lived with my grand­mother.

“I didn’t re­ally think about what a big deal it was for a 14year-old to live abroad with­out his par­ents. But foot­ball is get­ting more popular in Canada and with that will come more op­por­tu­ni­ties for kids. “There are three teams that play in the MLS, you’ve got Jer­main De­foe play­ing for Toronto but there is al­ways room for im­prove­ment.

“Foot­ball is mas­sive in Amer­ica, es­pe­cially after the World Cup.We want that in Canada now, we want to see our kids de­vel­op­ing and play­ing in our na­tional league, not feel­ing as though they have to go abroad.”

HIGH HOPES: David Edgar

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