It was only a matter of weeks ago that Ryan Edwards was considered as one of Hearts’ worst signings of the season. To be put in that bracket when David Vanecek signed for the Jambos this term is some achievement.
Edwards has turned it right around recently, with his rise to Gorgie prominence capped off with a Scottish Cup final goal against Celtic.
That strike could have delivered so much, but eventually it mattered little, with Hearts falling 2-1 to the Hoops.
It was a promising performance all the same from the Australian, who had earned his final starting berth after a string of impressive performances.
He’s established himself as a first-team player. Now Edwards faces the biggest pre-season of his career.
Edwards needs to keep making positive strides
The midfielder made his league debut for the Jambos in April, coming off the bench against Hibs. He looked decent during his 25 minute cameo, getting his foot on the ball and being positive with it, whilst also proving strong in the tackle.
That earned him starting spots in Levein’s starting XI for the remaining four games of the campaign. Again his positivity when on the ball and ability to hassle opponents off it clear strengths in his game.
Hearts’ summer signing from Partick Thistle is showing his worth. This pre-season is massive for him. If he applies the same effort during the summer months as he has in Hearts’ final games, he’ll be a starter for the Gorgie outfit next season.
He has to come through pre-season well and follow it up with an impressive Betfred Cup group stage showing. That’s maybe the only way to guarantee Premiership starts
The likes of Olly Lee, Harry Cochrane and Oliver Bozanic may have something to say about Edwards’ emergence into the team. If the Australian keeps improving though, he’ll be a regular starter at Tynecastle next season.