FOOTBALL: NEW Solihull Moors recruit Jack Edwards is hoping to continue his positive footballing career to date when he steps up to National League level next month.
Edwards was brought in by Liam McDonald at the start of June following his impressive run of form in Leamington’s Southern Premier Division campaign last year, which saw the Brakes gain promotion to the National League North.
The 27-year-old became a fans’ favourite at the Phillips 66 Community Stadium, and his departure left many Brakes fans pondering who could fill his large boots.
But in an interview with The Observer, Edwards admitted Solihull is the only local team he considered moving to during his time time at Leamington and added his praises to Brakes’ management for his time in the Spa town.
He said: “If I was ever going to leave Leamington the only club in the local area at the right level to convince me to leave would be Solihull, so it’s worked out well.
“There’s an element of risk with any move but I feel the move will benefit my game.
“I wanted to stay at Leamington for as long as possible.
“The challenge that now faces me is an exciting one in ideal circumstances.”
The down-to-earth midfielder, who can also play in defence, captained Nottingham Trent University before joining Barwell and eventually Leamington – where he made more than 100 appearances in gold and black.
During the 2015/16 season, the 6’4” man finished as second highest goalscorer at Leamington – and last year he played a key part in Brakes’ Birmingham Senior Cup Final triumph over Wolves and the club’s playoff final win over Hitchin Town.
Despite his personal achievements, Edwards made it clear his main goal for this season is to put the team first and help them remain in non-league football’s highest division.
He said: “My first aim is with the club in mind.
“Yes joining Solihull is a chance for myself and one that I’m relishing, but ultimately I want to help the Moors remain in the National League and make my own footprint in the conference.
“What I have learnt from my time at Leamington is by putting the hard graft in you generally get a positive ride, I’m fortunate to not have experienced a bad season so far – I hope that continues.
“I had my first training session with the lads last week and they are all great to get along with.
“I’ve known Liam (McDonald) for a while. It was a nice introduction to pre-season and I believe you need the time off to rest up.”
Reflecting on his time at Leamington, Edwards said he hopes to use his confidence gained from playing under Paul Holleran to benefit his game at a higher level.
He added: “I couldn’t have hoped for a better three years at Leamington.
“We were relegated in my first season but bounced back well.
“Last year was fantastic though, I was happy to play my part in a great team which gained promotion to the National League North.
“I still have plenty of unwritten pages in my book and I’m excited to get the season underway.”