Dave Edwards, after sealing his deal to Reading, discussed the decision to start a new chapter in his career with the Royals.
His previous chapter was long reading – nine and a half years spent with Wolverhampton Wanderers, including a Championship title and three seasons spent in English football’s top tier.
“It is a big change for me personally and my family; I’ve been at Wolves for such a long time. I’m just so grateful that a club of Reading’s size have wanted to take me on a permanent deal,” Edwards said. “And hopefully I can repay them when I get playing.
“I’ve got my wife and two children with me, and I’m a big family man before anything else in the world. Making sure that everything is right for them is the main thing, and then the football follows after that. But they support me in whatever I do. My kids are seven and four, but my boy is football mad and he’s delighted that he might get another football kit!
“It has come around quite quickly – decisions have had to be made, but when you see the way that Reading played last year and how close they were to getting promoted, and having played against them a lot in the past few years, it was a no-brainer for me that this was a club that I was excited about joining and excited about working under the manager, and alongside my new teammates as well.
“First and foremost, last year Reading were brilliant and they were very unfortunate not to get promoted. It’s a gruelling way to lose a game of football and I did feel for the players when I was watching it on the telly. But this year I do expect Reading to be right up there towards the top of the league. The ambition they have matches my ambition – I think the last couple of years is when I have played my best football and I think I can help Reading to achieve their goals.”
Edwards brings with him plenty of knowhow – at Reading, only international teammate Chris Gunter has played more games in professional football.
So what can we expect from Edwards on the field?
“I make sure that first and foremost I give my absolute maximum on the pitch,” he continued. “I think teams that I’ve played for will always say that as well. But I’m also quite attacking-minded and I like to get into the box and try to get on the end of crosses and passes and try to get goals. I’m pretty much a box-to-box midfielder – I’d like to think I can do my defensive capabilities as well. But my main thing is arriving in the box on time.
“Most of my playing career has been in the Championship. I’ve been lucky enough to play in every single division from the National League right the way up, and at international level as well.
“But most of my career has been spent in the Championship and I know how gruelling and tough it is. There are games where a little bit of knowhow and experience will get you over the line. Hopefully I can bring that. There are other players here like Chris Gunter and Paul McShane who know that as well so hopefully I can add a calm head at times.”
Edwards now heads off on international duty with Wales, and could make his Reading debut when we return to Madejski Stadium to face Bristol City in a fortnight’s time… make sure you’re here to welcome Dave to his new home!