Edwards talks to The Grecian about City's youth
No doubt there have been a few double-takes at the name ‘Exeter City’ in the final eight of the Under-21 Premier League Cup in its inaugural season.
For those on the outside, seeing the Grecians’ name alongside the likes of Man City, Chelsea, Arsenal Newcastle will have left a number of mouths agog and very few explanations from those that don’t know too much about what we have been doing at Exeter.
But for City’s assistant manager Rob Edwards, who has been on the touchline throughout the ongoing adventure in the cup competition, the reasons for their success could barely be clearer. And that success isn’t just in the cup – it is in the continual development of the players on a daily basis, and in the very fact that so many of the young crop are now involved regularly in first-team affairs.
There is no great secret or magic formula, as far as Robbo is concerned – it is the attitude that the players take into every single day that has brought rich rewards. While the young Grecians all have their own careers to think about, they are doing it in the context of a game that requires teamwork.
“The biggest thing is that you’re willing to work hard, that your attitude is good, and that you listen to the advice that is passed to you about how to improve your own game,” explains Rob, who himself was a young player trying to break into the Carlisle team once upon a time.
“Technical ability is a factor, but even when you look at players like Luis Suarez and the other top players, there’s no doubt that attitude is particularly important.
“A team is about people that are prepared to work for a common goal and to work together, and they put their teammates before their own gain. That’s definitely what we have in our Under-21 team. They’ve realised over the past few years that they need to work hard together, because that’s the only way the team will get a result.
“I’ve played with players throughout my career that have tried to play on their own, and by doing that you’re not particularly well thought of in your group. So it’s important to work hard for the team as a whole.”
The full interview with Rob Edwards was printed in our recent matchday programme, The Grecian, for the visit of Oxford United.