Wolves midfielder Dave Edwards on his fun new venture
IT WAS a massive defeat and Dave Edwards had no excuses – the player that the Wolves and Wales midfielder had been marking had hit all of the opposition’s goals in a 10-4 thrashing.
If ever the saying ‘one-man team’ was true, this was surely it.
Indeed it was as the experienced professional had been trounced by his five-year-old son Jack in a one-v-one contest at the family’s Little Rascals children’s play barn.
Combining his profession with his passion, the 29-year-old Wolves star has developed and is set to open the play barn in his native Shrewsbury, along with his partner in the venture, Ben Wootton, a lifelong friend.
As well as the mini football pitch, Little Rascals includes a range of play equipment and provision for babies and children with special needs.
Edwards, who lives in Shrewsbury with his wife Emma, Jack and two-year-old daughter Evie, said: “I got the idea when Emma and I took the children to a play barn in Oswestry.
“That’s the nearest town to Shrewsbury with a good-sized play centre. It was really busy and I thought ‘it’s a shame there’s nothing like this in Shrewsbury,’ and from that point my planning began.
“I’m delighted with the way it’s turned out and with the feedback we’ve had from people in Shrewsbury, who have been extremely positive about Little Rascals.
“And Jack, as you can imagine, loves it.The first time he got on the football pitch he spent an hour just kicking a ball around.
“Now we’re aiming to make it a special experience for all of the youngsters who will come along and hopefully enjoy the play barn.”
Getting Little Rascals up and running is one of three big successes Edwards is aiming for in the next few months.
Promotion for Wolves and securing a place in the Wales squad for next year’s European Championship finals are both burning ambitions for the midfield man.
It looks a tough call for his club team, who just missed out on reaching the Championship playoffs last term but are struggling to keep up with the pace in the current campaign.
They started well enough, but in their six games before yesterday’s trip to Ipswich they had suffered four defeats.
“We’ve not been good enough on a consistent basis,” admitted Edwards. “It won’t be easy to get ourselves up to the play-off places, but it’s not unachievable. We’ve definitely got enough in the group to be a top six team.”
While Wolves have been stuttering, Wales have been flying, reaching their first major tournament since 1958 with Edwards a regular in Chris Coleman’s squad.
“I played a lot of minutes in the last four or five games of the qualifying campaign,” said Edwards,“and it’s been a fantastic journey. “My dream for 2016 is for Wolves to win promotion and then to be part of the Wales squad at the Euros – and, of course, to see Little Rascals establishing itself for the children of Shrewsbury.”
PLAY CENTRE: Dave Edwards and business partner Ben Wootton join the youngsters at Rascals