Shrewsbury Town hero Dave Edwards considering retirement this summer

Shrewsbury Town midfielder Dave Edwards has revealed he is considering retirement at the end of the season.

Shrewsbury's Dave Edwards is considering hanging up his boots at the end of his contract this summer (AMA)
Shrewsbury's Dave Edwards is considering hanging up his boots at the end of his contract this summer (AMA)

The Town hero, 35 next month, made his 600th career appearance at Southampton in the FA Cup on Tuesday but admitted to the Shropshire Star that the current campaign is likely to be his last as a player.

The former Wales international and Wolves star said the action is finally taking its toll on his body, and he feels he is unable to contribute with the running intensity his game has always demanded.

Edwards, who is from Pontesbury and returned to his hometown club at the beginning of 2019, has been unable to hold down a regular place in Town's starting XI and admits he has found it tougher physically since returning from an ankle injury in the summer.

Midfielder Edwards, who has scored 74 career goals, is out of contract at Montgomery Waters Meadow at the end of the season and says he 'isn't scared of retirement' and has 'come to terms' with hanging up his boots.

"I think if I'm completely honest, I haven't totally made my mind up, but I can honestly and openly say that I do feel that it's taking its toll on me a little bit," Edwards said. "I'm finding it a lot harder to be as fit as you need to be.

"Steve Cotterill always says that football is a young man's game and you've got to be able to run, you have to.

"That's always been my strength and it's probably become my weakness as I've got older.

"I'm not a player who's going to filter down the leagues at 37, 38 or 39 and get away with sitting in the middle of the park and get away passing balls.

"I've always relied on my athleticism – I still feel I can get around the pitch and hit big numbers, but it's not at the intensity that it needs to be.

"At the moment I'm happy to really contribute to the team as much as possible, I know I'm not going to be starting week in, week out.

"But I really want to enjoy the season because there is a real chance it could be my last.

"That will be a decision I need to make but I think I've become comfortable with that, I don't fear retirement, I'll embrace it.

"At the moment I'd be surprised if I do carry on next season. I just want to make sure I enjoy the season as much as I can and contribute."

Shrews fan Edwards came through the youth ranks and made his debut aged 17 in May 2003. He left Town for Luton four years later and returned from Reading two years ago.

Edwards made more than 300 appearances for Wolves and also captained the Molineux men. He was part of the Wales squad that remarkably reached the semi-final of Euro 2016.

The midfielder, who has media commitments and his Little Rascals Foundation keeping him busy, admitted the prospect of more family time is also appealing.

"I don't want to just be here making up the numbers, I want to be able to help the team, come on and use my experience to see games out or nick a goal and help on the training pitch," he added. "As much as I said I love being a footballer it does take its toll physically and mentally.

"I'm at a stage where I need to do as much away from the training pitch as I do there, that's what I found difficult, because if I ever wanted to improve then my mindset was to work harder.

"But now I can't do that, I've got to work less to be in shape for the match.

"It takes its toll on family time, I noticed it in the last break, I was able to go out and play with my kids more outside.

"My usual answer to my little lad playing football was that I needed to rest for training, or my ankle was not great for a walk or whatever.

"So I enjoyed the break where I could enjoy myself with the kids, I've got to take that into consideration, but I want to enjoy the season.

"If something happens and I decide I want to carry on then so be it but at the moment I'm more leaning the other way."

Top Stories

More from the Shropshire Star

UK & International News