Dave Edwards: Shrewsbury's ex-Wales international midfielder contemplates retirement

Dave Edwards left Shrewsbury to join Luton Town in 2007 before returning after his time with Wolves and Reading in 2021
Dave Edwards left Shrewsbury to join Luton Town in 2007 before returning after his time with Wolves and Reading in 2021

Shrewsbury Town's Wales international midfielder Dave Edwards is seriously contemplating retirement at the end of the 2020-21 League One season.

The former Wolves and Reading player, renowned for his box-to-box running, admits that, at 34, his body struggles to maintain the fitness level he feels he needs to be at.

"It's a young man's game, football. You've got to able to run," he said.

"It's always been my strength, but it's become my weakness as I've got older."

He told BBC Radio Shropshire: "It's starting to take its toll on me a bit. I'm finding it hard to be as fit as I need to be. And mentally as well as physically.

"My answer to everything has always been to work a bit harder in the gym and on the pitch and now I find I'm having to work less to keep me in better shape for matchday."

Pontesbury-born Dave Edwards scored three times in 43 appearances for Wales
Pontesbury-born Dave Edwards scored three times in 43 appearances for Wales

Edwards, who began his playing career with Shrewsbury, left his boyhood club to sign for Luton Town, but their financial problems forced them to move him on to Wolves for what they had paid for him, £675,000, in January 2008.

He went on to make 310 appearances in 10 seasons for Wolves, scoring 44 goals, before 18 months with Reading, followed by a return to Shropshire in January 2019.

And he insists that coming back to Shrewsbury was his final move - whatever happens next.

'It's that first five or 10 yards'

"Everybody I've spoken to in the game has always me not to rush into it and that you're a long time retired," he said. "But I don't want to play anywhere else but here. I feel like it's time.

"I'm not a player who's going to filter down the league at 37, 38 or 39 and just sit in the middle of the park passing the ball.

"I've always relied on my athleticism. I still think I can get around the pitch but not at the intensity that it needs to be. It's that first five or 10 yards. As you get older, you lose a bit."

Edwards added: "I know I'm not going to be starting every week but I'm just happy to contribute where possible, I don't want to just be making up the numbers.

"I want to come on, use my experience and nick a goal here or there and I really want to enjoy the rest of this season as there is a good chance it will be my last.

"It's a decision I need to make but I don't fear retirement. I'll be surprised if i carry on next season. And it was almost a weight off my shoulders when I came to terms with it."

Dave Edwards was talking to BBC Radio Shropshire sports editor James Bond.

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