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Edwards pleased with team's Hong Kong efforts

Under-23 head coach Rob Edwards was pleased his side were able to end their successful season on a high by lifting the HKFC Citi Soccer Sevens shield in Hong Kong.

Nine members of the successful squad which lifted the Premier League 2 Division 2 title this season travelled to Asia to compete in the annual seven-a-side tournament.

After winning their group on Saturday, Edwards’s side fell at the quarter-final stages of the main competition but dropped down to the shield event which Wolves were victorious in after a four versus four sudden death knockout against Leicester City.

On lifting the shield

“It’s good to take something home. At that end of the competition all the games are so tight; anyone can beat anyone really, but it’s nice to come out on top and the lads put a really good shift in.

“We’ve had some good performances; Niall [Ennis] came out with a lot of credit and six goals, I thought Ed Francis was magnificent in every single game, and all the lads have come out with credit – every one of them.

“They’ve all put a real shift in.”

On his team’s tournament journey

“We’re disappointed in the end that it wasn’t the main prize, and the quarter final was a little bit disappointing being 1-0 up with a minute to go and then a couple of errors brought them back into it.

“We also made a couple of costly errors in the 4v4 to not come out on top in that, but we then went into a different competition.

“It was obviously good to recover and win two games after that. We had to battle against Portimonense; it was not a great performance, but we found a way to win, which is what we’ve talked about before and the lads have been quite good at that this season.

“Then I thought it was a really good performance against Leicester where we were the better team, we had more control. They are a very good team with very good players; we’ve seen quite a lot of them and been impressed by them this week.

“They’ve caused lots of teams lots of problems, so we were quite surprised they went out when they did in the quarter-finals, but it’s the fine margins – it was the same with them going out in the 4x4 against Rangers.”

On sudden death finishes

“It really is an interesting way to finish a game. When we had our first 4v4 on Saturday Niall initially won the ball on a bounce ball and we had a fantastic goal within 11 seconds.

“On Sunday against Kitchee it was quite strange. The ball got poked into an area where their goalkeeper landed on it and had a shot – randomly – from inside his half, which gave us the ball and control.

“But we took a shot probably too soon, and they went on the counter when I don’t think they should have. We regained possession quite quickly, had another chance but didn’t take it, and then they punished us when they got that overload.

“Then against Leicester, we didn’t win the bounce ball, but we did great to regain it and once we did, that was the main reason we put Ed Francis in as the goalkeeper, because it allowed him to carry it up the pitch – the timing was right, the pass was right, ‘Gilo’s’ [Ryan Giles’] pass was right and Niall was in the right place, so it sort of worked to perfection from the goal kick, all the way up.

“On Sunday we had both sides of it. Having three 4v4s in the two days was interesting, but we came out on top twice and it was really interesting.

“Loads of chances to make decisions, something we can take a look at back home as well.”

#WolvesAcademy