Dave Edwards would love to be involved against his boyhood and former club Shrewsbury as Wolves make the short trip to Greenhous Meadow tomorrow (1pm).
But the Welsh international midfielder knows that the unfortunate injury sustained at Preston on the opening day has left him playing catch-up in trying to gatecrash Kenny Jackett’s plans for the fixture he was most waiting for this season.
Born and bred in Shrewsbury, it’s over a decade since Edwards made his debut for the club, and, still living in the area and a regular watcher of the Shrews when possible, tomorrow is one of only two occasions this season when he won’t want them to finish on the winning side!
“It would be nice for me to be involved as it’s a club I’ve got great connections with,” says Edwards.
“This was the main fixture I was looking for this season – especially going away to Shrewsbury.
“I supported Shrewsbury as a boy and followed them through my childhood so it was great to get a chance to play for them.
“I played over 100 league games for Shrewsbury and everything I have achieved since is down to the grounding I have had there.
“I have many happy memories from my time there, I still live in the area and I know a lot of people who still go to their games.
“There are a few lads there I know more from playing football rather than my time at the club.
“A lot of the staff who work at the stadium are still there from my time so it will be nice to see them if I’m involved on Saturday.
“As a fan I always look out for Shrewsbury’s results and any time I can get down the Meadow for a game then I do.
“It’s one of those where I want a Wolves win tomorrow but then hope Shrewsbury beat all our rivals after that!”
Edwards had spent much of the summer at Compton getting back to full fitness after sustaining a broken foot in March, starting the season in Jackett’s first eleven, but suffered a cruel twist of fate by taking a whack to the same spot on the opening day at Preston.
Another impact injury rather than muscular, it has proved a difficult one to heal but Edwards is now fit and ready and waiting for his chance.
“I was in our team at the start of the season and was unfortunate to get injured on the first day,” he adds.
“We’d trained hard in the build up and I’d played a lot of the friendly games and my foot, which has still got a pin in it after being broken, was injured again.
“I feel absolutely fine now and have been back in training for the last two or three weeks.
“I feel like I’m fit and ready and hopefully will get a chance to prove that and try and get back in the gaffer’s thoughts.
“It is frustrating because I have really dedicated my life to football over the last few years and tried to do plenty of work away from training and matches to avoid injuries.
“It just seems that the harder I work off the pitch the more harder it gets on the pitch!
“I’ve just got to be mentally strong, keep living my life right and believe that what I am doing off the pitch will help me.
“I am sure it’s just a bit of bad luck I’ve had over the last couple of seasons.
“I don’t think my body is weak in any way and – touch wood – I’ve not had many muscle injuries with the two big injuries I’ve had a stress fracture in my back and a fracture in my foot.
“Hopefully the work I am doing off the pitch will help me on it.”
Edwards’ unwanted watching brief thus far hasn’t dented his enthusiasm at the encouraging start to the season followed by his Wolves team-mates under the new Head Coach.
And whatever the level of involvement, he is confident Wolves can come through what will be another big derby occasion tomorrow to try and put themselves: “in a really strong position.”
“It’s all gone well so far,” he says of Wolves’ start to the campaign.
“The gaffer has come in and been great and the players have responded.
“It was disappointing on Tuesday but it had been really encouraging before that and maybe that result will just give us a kick up the backside.
“It’s a big local derby tomorrow and the loss on Tuesday makes it even more important we put things right.
“If we could get three points tomorrow it would put us in a really strong position.”
Edwards continues: “Every time I see anyone around Shrewsbury they are all talking about this game.
“They have been talking about the 21st September since the fixtures came out!
“It’s a huge, huge game for them and I am sure they will be right up for it in front of a full house.
“I think it’s been 28 years since we played in the league and they’ll be desperate to get one over on Wolves.
“Apart from Telford it’s their closest derby.
“In my day there were games against Chester and Wrexham but to play against Wolves will be something else.
“We’ve got to manage that expectation from our side and make sure we have a good first 20 minutes when I am sure they will be right at us.
“If we can come through that then hopefully our quality will show through.”