Edgar: National Team Veterans Eyeing CPL
32-year-old Canadian international David Edgar joined Forge FC halfway through the inaugural season, helping the Hamilton-based club to an impressive CONCACAF League outing and, later on, helping them hoist the North Star Shield itself.
Over the course of his career, the Newcastle United Academy product amassed over 200 appearances in Europe with the likes of Newcastle, Burnley, Swansea, Birmingham, and Sheffield United, which is where he was playing when he clocked in most of his 42 appearances for the national team.
He also plied his trade with the Vancouver Whitecaps and Ottawa Fury, but long-term struggles with a right knee injury saw the veteran jump to Hartlepool United to keep fit and remain in contention for the national team. He was, once again, playing overseas.
Now playing on home soil, the Forge FC defender is watching the domestic game grow first-hand. In a recent chat with the CPL Editorial Staff, Edgar made mention that there were several national team veterans calling him to ask about the Canadian Premier League.
With its first season leaving many impressed with the high quality shown on the pitch, there are now less unknowns to keep veteran players away from the prospect of playing at home in the Canadian Premier League:
I’m getting phone calls from players I’ve played with in the national team program who are asking my opinion, who are thinking, ‘Is it time? Is it right? The first year is under its belt, should we do this?’. It’s an interesting prospect for national team players, current, or next national team players to come into.David Edgar
Former Canadian national team head coach Stephen Hart had said much the same, having previously revealed that several former players of his on the national level were impressed by what they’d seen this season. Iain Hume, for his part, would love to play at home in the twilight stages of his career, and even got an offer from a CPL club last year during his time with Pune City.
While the likes of David Edgar, Marcel de Jong, Issey Nakajima-Farran, and Nik Ledgerwood were all willing to take a chance in the league’s first-ever season, not every national team veteran will have been willing to jump the gun so quickly. Now they’ve had time to watch the gameplay, ask around, and come to a conclusion.
The fact that current national team head coach John Herdman has called up Marco Carducci, Amer Didic, and Dominick Zator to the national team is also proof in itself that performances in the CPL can lead to national recognition. That means the league is a good option for youngsters or those without national team experience hoping to take the next big step, too.
For Edgar, his decision was based around a multitude of factors, including his recovery from a right knee injury sustained from a motor vehicle accident:
I did it because it was right in my time in my life, where I was with my family and career, and with my injury and whatnot.David Edgar
The veteran was quick to impress upon his arrival with the club, helping lead a backline which only conceded five goals in his eleven CPL appearances for Forge FC. Winning the two-legged finals led him to his first club honours, though the now-reigning champions have yet to confirm which players will be returning for 2020.
David Edgar is expected to be one of the club’s top target’s to retain. What’ll be interesting to see is if any of his companions from the national team program make the jump home to contest for the other spots.
Source: Canadian Premier League