This feature sees us catch up with former Sporting defender Luke Edwards. He talked about his incredible first impressions of the club, brilliant memories which included the whirlwind FA Vase run and information of a management role for him… with a twist.
In 42 games for Sporting, he made his name as a reliable, no-nonsense centre back, who chipped in with an impressive seven goals. But despite swiftly becoming a fans favourite, Luke, or ‘Granddad’ as he was affectionately known, the defender admitted he didn’t quite know what he was stepping into before joining.
“When I first joined I wasn’t aware of how big the club was. It soon become apparent after a few games that it was a massive club, just needing to get up the pyramid to where it belonged.
“Not only was the club amazing, it was the fans and more importantly the staff and players. There was a real chemistry in the dressing room, which I had not experienced before.”
Luke reminisced about his great times playing in a Sporting shirt, which included the memorable FA Vase run during the 2016/17 season, in which the Rouslers reached the semi finals, whereby they were beaten by Lincolnshire side Cleethorpes Town.
“Everyone was producing performances, which were way above the level the club were at. This was evident to see during the Vase run. Whilst it was an amazing season, I still look back and think what if. I still don’t think Cleethorpes were better than us in either of the two games, which is still a hard pill to swallow!
“But it what an amazing season and one I will never forget. The Leicester Road win at their place where I scored and we won 1-0 was a great memory, as well as the Vase quarter final, which was special with the crowd! Costing Smudger (Paul Smith, then manager) £50 for every goal I scored was a laugh too!
“I’m so glad that the players and club have managed to show their true potential! I just wish I had started there a few years earlier and I could have continued my journey with them.”
Luke said he is now counting his seasons and games in football down now, but it didn’t stop him achieving success at another club after Bromsgrove.
“Since leaving Sporting, I went on to win the league again with Heather St Johns, which was an amazing achievement not only because of the teams we beat to win the league, but playing with people who I really enjoyed being around and also a very good manager.”
He talked about a management role of a slight differently kind, but one that is still very challenging!
“I’m now pretty much starting to live my football through my son Freddie, who is six years old. I am currently helping his U6 team and they have started really well. It’s stressful finding the balance between managing Freddie as a player rather than being my son!
“My daughter Isabella, who is seven, unfortunately follows her mother and doesn’t really like football!
“It was my 8th year wedding anniversary on Tuesday just gone; I’m enjoying being at home with the family, balancing schooling with still working from home, as a Senior Audit Manager.”