Edwards has reached the Championship the hard way... and now he wants to take his chance
PUBLISHED: 06:00 20 July 2018
Gwion Edwards became Paul Hurst's third summer signing after joining from Peterborough for £700,000. ANDY WARREN spoke to the 25-year-old Welshman
Gwion Edwards has made it to the Championship the hard way and, now he’s reached his target, he’s determined to make the most of it.
The Welsh winger became Paul Hurst’s third summer signing when he joined the Blues for £700,000 on Tuesday, having spent the last four seasons working his way up the football pyramid.
Having left Swansea without playing a senior game he’s played in the Scottish top flight with St Johnstone, League Two with Crawley and then two seasons in League One with Peterborough, before making it clear to the Posh management that he needed to move on.
He was one of the third tier’s most dangerous players during his stay at London Road and, having earned a shot in the Championship, he is determined to prove it is where he belongs.
“I’ve always wanted to make the step up and sometimes it’s not as easy as other players get it,” he said.
“I dropped down a few leagues, worked hard and now I’ve got my chance so I’m excited to get the opportunity.
“I think the last few years I’ve been looking to get this chance (in the Championship) and I’m 25 now so this is definitely the right time to make the step up.
“A few teams were linked but Ipswich got it over the line. I’m excited to be here, it’s a great club and we just want the season to start.”
The Ipswich fans in attendance for the game with Crawley on Tuesday night got an early glimpse of what Edwards is capable of and would have liked what they saw.
Though he only signed on the dotted line 12 hours earlier, he spent the entirety of his second-half appearance looking for the ball, attempting to drive forward and working to beat his man.
“I was told I was playing on Tuesday night and I was excited to be doing that and to get 45 minutes in was really good,” he said.
“I just can’t wait to get started properly now.
“I wanted to play, I was ready to play and had my boots and pads ready with me just in case so it was good to be involved.
“We moved the ball well, pressed well and got the result but it’s pre-season and fitness which is all that counts, really.
“We’ll be working in the games and in training and then hopefully the results will come when the real stuff starts.
“If I can get on the ball and take people on then that is what I look to do, then if that’s not possible, I’ll look to take care of the ball, create some chances and get some shots off.
“I prefer the left side really but I don’t mind picking the ball up in open space in the middle or drifting over to the right, I just like to mix it up and enjoy playing.”
The 25-year-old arrives at Portman Road at a time of change, with manager Hurst implementing fresh ideas and looking to break a cycle which has seen the club trapped in the Championship since 2002.
Edwards figures to play a big part on the Blues’ new era, given Hurst quickly highlighted wide areas as a position of need at his unveiling in June, with the Welshman happy to be in Suffolk.
He’s made his mark on Hurst before, scoring twice for Peterborough against his Shrewsbury side, and knows what his new boss is all about.
“He (Hurst) has put some fresh ideas in and the boys have told me he’s changed a few things – that’s what happens when a new manager comes in.
“Not that there was anything wrong before necessarily, that’s not for me to say, but everyone has a different view on it and their way of doing things.
“I think I scored twice against his teams, last year and the year before, and I know what his teams are about.
“I’m really happy to be part of it.”
Everything’s new for the former Wales Under 21 international, who was also called up into Chris Coleman’s senior squad for a pair of Euro 2016 qualifiers, but there are a couple of familiar faces in the Ipswich squad.
“I know Emyr Huws from the Swansea and Welsh squads and also Josh Emmanuel, who was on loan at Crawley when I was there, so there are a few friendly faces but the lads all seem great,” he said.
“I’m just looking forward to getting to know them now in training and then playing in the games.”