Thu | May 28, 2020

Seeds of hard work bearing fruit for Edwards

Published:Wednesday | February 20, 2019 | 12:00 AM
Andrew Edwards
Omar Edwards

Newly appointed technical director of the Turks and Caicos Football Association, Jamaican Andrew Edwards, is the basking in the joy the opportunity his new journey presents. For Edwards, this two-year contract is an opportunity that means a great deal to him, and though not his ultimate goal, is the culmination of all the hard work he has put in over the years now starting to yield rewards.

“This opportunity means a whole lot to me and I am very proud of myself. For me, it means the work I have done in the past is now being rewarded at a higher level than it has previously been rewarded.

“I remember when I started out coaching at Titchfield and there wasn’t any equipment, and ended up making them for myself with whatever material I had available, be it plastic bottles or old items of clothing. Looking back at that and looking where I am now, technical director of a national football association, I am extremely proud of my journey,” the former Titchfield and Manchester High coach reflected.

It was always his ambition to one day become technical director and upon completing his studies in 2014 in Germany, Edwards wrote down his goals and this was one of his top goals. While the aim was achieved outside the land of his birth, it is a stepping stone to that ultimate goal.

”To be elevated to the post of technical director is something that has always been my ambition, and when I left Germany in 2014, my goal was to be Jamaica’s technical director by 2018; that may still happen in the future. This, for me, is something that can propel me towards that in the future. So for now, it is all about going to the Turks and Caicos Islands, and making the best of the opportunity so that our work will be seen not just within Concacaf, but across the globe.”

Edwards has his eyes set on doing great things in his new role, and believes that the opportunity is there to fulfil his goal of doing so, especially given the stage at which the football federation is at in the islands.

“I am going there as the technical director, which means I am going there to plan the future of the country’s football. It’s a wonderful opportunity, as it’s a very young football association. It’s a chance for me to build a programme that can gain recognition within Concacaf and, ultimately, at the international level, and this only comes from getting results on the football field, which then means we have to build up the grassroots programme and create sustainable growth within the programme,” Edwards said as he gave a synopsis of his role and his goal.

The former national under-17 coach is currently spearheading a team of three Jamaicans, which includes Aaron Lawrence and Omar Edwards, operating in the British territory, hoping to put the islands’ football on the map. The technical director said that both will be charged with spearheading youth programmes, but will have roles in the senior ­programme as well.

“Aaron will be in charge of one of the youth programmes as well as being the national goalkeeper coach. As for Omar, his role with the national senior programme will be discussed with the head coach, but he will definitely be in charge of one of the youth programmes as well. But I want to have a sit-down with all parties involved before final decisions are made”, elaborated Edwards.

As to his other peers locally, Edwards said that the responses he received were mostly congratulatory and positive; ­however, there are a few doubters.

“The responses I have been getting have been mostly congratulatory and encouraging; some persons have even offered to come on board in the future if the opportunity arises. On the flip side, there are some people who are expressing their doubts and feelings of it not being a good move, but overall, the responses have been overwhelmingly positive,” Edwards concluded.