Defender-cum-coach Mike Edwards is Notts County’s man for all jobs
NOTTS COUNTY’S Jack-of-all-trades Mike Edwards hung up his oven gloves rather than his boots this summer, and hopes he can continue to make his mark at Meadow Lane for several seasons to come.
The 35-year-old defender has also worked as a conditioning coach since returning in 2014 and, in addition last season, prepared meals for his team-mates on away trips.
His pasta dish, with a “secret” recipe, is legendary among the Magpies players.
But the luxury of staying in hotels rather than embarking on long coach trips that has been afforded to Notts County’s players this season means Edwards’ culinary skills are no longer required.
Yet manager Ricardo Moniz is still keeping him busy and Edwards wouldn’t have it any other way.
“I’m used to it,” he said. “Last year I was cooking as well! The lads seem to enjoy my cooking, so I might go back to doing it one day – you can never say never.
“I get on well with the manager and in pre-season he set out his conditioning plans and now I try and deliver that. There is a good medical team around me and I tend to not do as much when I’m playing, but they do take the mickey sometimes and say ‘any chance of you doing your proper job?’.
“I like having the distraction of having others to worry about, rather than worrying about my own condition.
“After a session I’ll do the washing and preparation ahead of the next day and build a plan to help the players recover. There is always something to do.”
Edwards is at the club for a second spell, having initially left with a heavy heart after a disagreement over the length of a new contract.
And he revealed his return came almost by accident.
“I only came here initially for a week’s training, but impressed and was offered a deal,” he added.
“Our fitness coach left so I took his job.The plan wasn’t to play as much as I have, but it’s been a bonus.
“I still think of myself as a player. I’m clinging on to the bottom rung of the ladder by my little finger.
“We were training last year and lining up 11 vs 11 on the pitch. I was out there and the manager said we don’t want the coach training. One of the lads had to tell him the fitness coach plays a bit too!”
MAGIC MIKE: County’s Mike Edwards is still playing as well as keeping the squad fit, inset