Ives striker Johnny Edwards talks to Andrew Dunn about his excellent early season form and how he used to train with Harry Maguire.
“I’m really enjoying it”. They were the first words from St Ives striker Johnny Edwards when asked to describe how his time at the club was going. His early season form of topping the leading scorers in the division with seven goals has been a big factor in the Ives sitting in third place in the table. But the good news for Ives fans is that you get the impression there is more to come “My initial aim was to get to double figures so hopefully when I get there I can then push on and get a few more”, said Edwards.
The 25 year old signed from FC Romania in the summer where he scored 12 goals in 26 appearances for the Southern League Division One Central outfit. However, it was connections at St Ives that attracted him to the Quattro-Tech Westwood Road. “Ricky Marheineke has tried to sign me before, but I am also good mates with club physio, Jardaine Patel-Joseph and I also know Michael Richens from our time together at Peterborough,” he said.
Prior to moving to Posh he was also a youngster at Stevenage. “I was offered a Scholarship by Stevenage, but I refused it. I then went for a trial match at Peterborough and ended up signing for them,” he added. Arguably, his links with St Ives started during his time at Posh as ex-Ives striker Conor Washington was playing for Peterborough at the same time, and it was Washington that Edwards replaced as substitute to make his first football league appearance in April 2015.
A number of loan spells followed during his time at Peterborough before signing for Hull City in 2016 following some successful games in their under-21 squad. Edwards looks back at his time at the MKM Stadium with fond memories. “I can remember going to training sessions and the first team would be in attendance, so you would get to train with the likes of Harry Maguire, and it was a fantastic experience as little did I know that he would go on be the player he is today”, said Edwards.
It was at Hull that he was loaned out to Accrington Stanley. The time at Stanley was one of the highlights for Edwards. “I scored my first football league goal at Accrington” Edwards said. “It was against Doncaster and to get on the scoresheet was great”. Research points to the goal being a header in the 81st minute which secured Accrington a point against the then league two leaders. Another highlight was an FA Cup fourth round appearance for Stanley as they were drawn away to Middlesbrough. The hosts won the tie 1-0, but it was still a great experience for Edwards. “I was on the bench, and unfortunately didn’t get on, but to experience the Riverside Stadium and a crowd of over 20,000 was brilliant”, he added.
After being released by Accrington, Edwards has played for a number of non-league teams including FC Halifax, Maidstone, Biggleswade and Royston. So, at 25, does Edwards have any aspirations to return to the league game? “I’ve got a good job away from football right now, and you never say never, but it’s all about enjoying it, and that’s exactly what I am doing at the moment so long may it continue”.