A HKFC Citi Soccer Sevens winner as a player, Rob Edwards is now thrilled to be leading Wolves under-23s in their quest for glory in the same competition.
Edwards was a winner of the Hong Kong-based seven-a-side tournament in 2002 with Aston Villa and this weekend will take charge of Wolves in their Soccer Sevens debut. The players trained in Hong Kong for the first time on Friday morning and begin their campaign against HKFA Red Dragons on Saturday (8.23am BST), and Edwards can feel the excitement within the camp building.
On his hopes for the tournament
“It’s giving them something different against great opposition. It’s a really high-level tournament and it will be a real challenge. What the game is, looking at it now and using memories, it’s a real game of responsibility. The players really need to take responsibility because it will highlight if you don’t do your job and it can kill you really quickly.
“There will be different challenges as well because we’ll be playing teams from different parts of the world, so we might be up against a real block or a high pressing team like Aston Villa with real athleticism. It will give us lots of different challenges and I’m really looking forward to seeing how the players work out the problems.”
On being back in Hong Kong
“I was here twice with Aston Villa and it’s great to be back. Being back out on the pitch brought back some memories, even though I’m on the coaching side now. We’re really pleased to be here and are looking forward to the tournament.”
On acclimatizing to Hong Kong
“It’s been great. We gave the lads the day off on Thursday to climatize and get used to the surroundings and time difference, it’s really good to get out on the pitch and try to get an understanding of the game because it’s so different to normal 11-a-side football.
“I’m really pleased we’ve done that and I know Mark Delaney, Aston Villa’s coach, so it was good we were able to get a game against them to try and build an understanding. None of the players have been before so they’re all looking forward to it, it’s new for them. It’s a fantastic tournament.”