Edwards praises 'fantastic' Soccer Sevens tournament

Rob Edwards hopes his under-23 side will be welcomed back to Hong Kong for the next HKFC Citi Soccer Sevens tournament after Wolves lifted the shield trophy in their debut competition appearance.

The seven-a-side tournament proved a positive end of season trip for Edwards and his players and the head coach believes his team would have learnt a lot from their week in the Asian heat.

On the end to the under-23’s season

“It’s a nice way to finish the season off. The players will learn a lot from this week, but even though they are young, the standards are really high.

“We were up against high-level opposition and it’s always better to go home having won your last game of the season than have lost it and they’ve done that.

“The teams that are out here, the players who are out here, it’s a tough competition, so although they are young, there’s a lot of lads who have played first-team football, lads who have been out on loan and players who have played in their respective first-teams in the Premier League.

“It’s a really high-level competition, and I’ve not got a bad word to say about it at all.”

On the HKFC Citi Soccer Sevens

“I want to put on record our thanks to the tournament for having us, it’s a fantastic tournament that’s really well ran and is really interesting.

“I think it’s great for technical players, seeing which players have a lot of heart and desire because one-v-one battles are so important; you can see if someone switches off and if the opposition want it more than you, and also for decision making.

“It’s fantastic for decision making because there’s so many times that there’s overloads and if people get the decision wrong or the timing wrong, or that little but of technique wrong then it’s highlighted.

“But it’s a fantastic tournament, thank you to the organisers for having us, we’ve really enjoyed it and would love to be back out here again. I think the lads have given a really good account of themselves and the football club as well.”

On learning from the tournament

“It’s nice to finish off with two wins in a row. I said to the lads that they had to pick themselves back up after their defeat but it’s hard in the heat and they had to go again.

“It would have been easy to give in, and obviously they were flat after losing the quarter-final, understandably so – especially in the manner that we did, because we were in such control in that game.

“Kitchee did it to Villa in the group stages, when Villa were 1-0 up and the equalised late and ultimately knocked Villa out of the group, they did it to Leicester in the group stages as well; 1-0 down and then came back, and then they did it to us.

“It’s something that we’ve got to learn and make sure that the teams who are almost stifling the game, and when we are in such control we’ve got to make sure we see those games out and finish them off, so it was a good learning curve for us.”