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Fanscene with Peter Davies

The news that Swindon Town midfielder Paul Edwards has joined the Red

The news that Swindon Town midfielder Paul Edwards has joined the Red Dragons is just what the doctor ordered.

Denis Smith had been scouring the country for a new left-sided player and I'm glad he has managed to locate his man, and sign him up, well before the season starts.

I like the fact that Edwards is young (only 22) and tall (5' 10"), and that he was spotted by a coach who should know a decent player when he sees one - ex-Liverpool boss Roy Evans. The deal is also significant for other reasons.

First, with Michael Blackwood and Kevin Sharp both gone, it was crucial for the Reds manager to plug a hole on the left flank. By all accounts, the new no.14 is happy to play anywhere down that side, and given Wrexham's small squad, and limited resources, it is encouraging to know that he is extremely versatile.

Second, it is vital to note the financial contribution of supporters group WINS to the deal. After chipping in for defender Dan Bennett and keeper Marius Rovde, the organisation has now helped to facilitate another high-profile move.

As WINS treasurer Rob Griffiths pointed out: "We have given £10,000 towards signing Paul Edwards which is by no means a small amount. In fact, manager Denis Smith told me that without this help, it was highly unlikely he would have got Edwards."

For a fundraising organisation that is still in its infancy, I think it is mightily impressive that WINS have already helped to broker three pieces of business - and the most recent could yet be the most significant.

Third, the nature of the Edwards transfer is in itself very interesting.

As Swindon boss Andy King said: "I believe that I've done my part and managed to negotiate a deal that I feel is good for this club. Yes, I would have liked a fee for him but who knows, the sell-on clause could well be worth more to us in the future. With that in mind, I hope he does well in the future.

King's words give the impression that Wrexham are lucky to get a promising youngster (who is ineligible for a Bosman) without having to pay a penny. Indeed Swindon had already offered the Mancunian a new one-year deal, indicating they were more than happy to keep him; but in the end it was the player's desire to head north for family reasons that was the key factor.

Fourth, it is not insignificant that Edwards made his mark in non-league football before heading to Wiltshire. He used to play for Leigh RMI and Altrincham, and in many ways this kind of pedigree could set him up nicely for life in the third division.

I'm also pretty certain that the new man will feel at home at the Racecourse. Like teammates Andy Dibble, Shaun Holmes and Jim Whitley, Edwards learnt his trade at Maine Road.

And finally, I do like the idea of manager Smith playing with two wingers, both of them called Edwards - Carlos on the right and Paul on the left. That has got to be a collector's item.


David Holmes
Chief News Reporter
David Norbury
Mike Fuller
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