Alarm bells must have been ringing for Burton Albion fans, upon hearing the club have signed an Australian midfielder from the SPFL. With Ryan Edwards swapping Hearts for the Brewers, they’ll hope he can emulate a former midfield maestro, Jackson Irvine.
Irvine arrived at the Pirelli Stadium for a club record fee, signing from Ross County. A sensational start saw him score four goals in his first six games for the club. And in his debut year, after netting double figures in goals, Irvine was named Albion’s Player of the Year.
Irvine was a terrific talent after getting a chance
However, you get the impression that Irvine’s reputation was much higher than his compatriot’s when he traded the Staggies for Staffordshire. Irvine never quite made the grade at Celtic and Ross County were his second loan spell from Parkhead.
Sometimes all it takes is for players to get a chance of regular first-team football in order to prove that they’re a talent. County must’ve seen something in order to snap him up from the Hoops on a permanent deal. They were rewarded with contributions on the park and made quite the profit when selling him to Burton.
Quite the campaign for Edwards
Lack of game time is what makes you question Nigel Clough’s interest in Ryan Edwards. A topsy-turvy 2018-19 saw him sign for Hearts, be loaned to St Mirren, come back to Hearts and net the opener in the 2019 Scottish Cup final.
Craig Levein has allowed him to move on for first team football which he must feel Hearts can’t guarantee. So he’s been given a lifeline down south, playing alongside a few others that used to be in the SPFL such as Scott Fraser, David Templeton and Liam Boyce.
Both midfielders were never truly given a chance at big clubs in Scotland but hopefully Edwards can emulate his fellow Aussie and be a successful signing at Burton Albion.
If he does, he may also get a big-money move to the Championship or a chance to play for the Socceroos.