That’s My Boy.

Alistair Edwards has just made the boldest move in his A League coaching career, by signing his twenty-one year old son Cameron. It is a bold move because unfortunately it will see him accused of favouring his family, and will also see Cameron come under closer scrutiny than many of the other members of the Glory squad. Cameron is going to have to prove to many doubters that he is there on merit, and not just because his dad is the coach.

The last Glory coach to sign his son was Steve McMahon, who swore blindly that his son was good enough to play in the Hyundai A-League. Many begged to differ. He came to Perth from Blackpool, where again he signed for his father, and was voted by Tangerines fans as the worst Blackpool player in FourFourTwo magazine. Tough criticism to have to take.

Other players to have played for their father when he was coach are notably Darren Ferguson who played 27 times for father Alex at Manchester United, and Nigel Clough who played 403 times for father Brian at Nottingham Forest. His father always referring to him as ‘the Number 9’ to the press and never by his name. Kenny Dalglish had his son on the books of Liverpool when he was the Manager but never gave him a game. He did however sign him for Newcastle when he took over as Manager there and Paul made 14 appearances.

It is a tough gig playing for your father. If you struggle with form the accusations of nepotism soon surface. It can also make it awkward in the team dressing room, where the coach is not always popular. Other players loathe to speak up when the coach departs for fear of the son telling his father what was said. Having your son in your team and in your squad, puts him under a different kind of pressure, some cope some don’t.

Cameron Edwards has talent of that there can be no doubt. Technically he is very good on the ball, has great vision and a cultured left foot. He is able to pass with both feet and frequently makes himself available for the ball. There are two areas that he will need to improve on to establish himself in the A-League, and hopefully playing for his father he will be able to find these attributes. The first is physicality, Cameron is not a player who appears to enjoy a physical tussle and if an opponent closes down his space and dominates him physically he has been known to lose the individual battle. The other area is influencing the game when his team needs inspiration. He has the talent to turn a game with one pass, to carve an opening out of nothing, but several times when playing for the Glory Youth, when the team needed that moment of brilliance that he had the skills to deliver, it didn’t happen. Playing for his father he may be more confident to back himself and his ability, and we may yet see him influence the outcome of games by using that superb passing skill and vision.

Alistair and Cameron will both cop stick of that there can be no doubt, but hopefully both have the strength of character to pull through it. Hopefully both have discussed this issue before the contract was signed. Cameron has the tools to be a good player, he would not have been signed by Reading, or Melbourne Heart if he didn’t. Let us hope the fans give him the chance to express that talent, and justify his father’s faith before anyone makes any judgement on the two linking up.

That’s My Boy.
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6 thoughts on “That’s My Boy.

  • May 3, 2013 at 4:07 pm
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    Thanks for your comments and opinions. All White, we stated the same in relation to contracts for young players back when Dave Mitchell was coach, but many coaches are worried that if the player does well he will then be lured to an interstate club for a few thousand dollars more. Another reason for transfer fees to come in domestically.

  • May 3, 2013 at 3:35 pm
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    Have to say when I saw Cameron had been released by Melbourne Heart I knew Alistair would sign him. Imagine having to explain why you didn’t, when you have encouraged and pushed him all these years.

    Very hard decision by him. I agree with you Ashley, give the boy a chance. Mind you a two year deal was generous! Have to say as much as I feel he should be given a chance the two year deal made me think here we go again.

    These young players should be on one year deals to keep them hungry and make them show they want to play for the club.

  • May 2, 2013 at 8:43 pm
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    I agree with you Stephen, it is a case of here we go again. So far Alister has been using the media superbly, hence the reason he got appointed coach for 3 years. Do not think even Sir Alex got 3 years. lol
    However he should have waited before signing his son, who lets face it failed at Heart.

  • May 2, 2013 at 6:41 pm
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    Whatever the outcome it is nepotism. He should never have signed his son under the guise of signing ‘local youth.’ The first major mistake he has made and one that I bet costs him dearly. In my circle of friends they have gone from enthusiastic about next season to ‘here we go again.’

    Perth Glory is dead as a football club. The only thing keeping it alive a few thousand loyal fans, who I feel very sorry for.

  • May 2, 2013 at 4:55 pm
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    Eamon, I totally agree, he has to be worth his place in the side. I think every one remembers McMahon. Cameron is a very talented player, I think we should give him a chance before knocking him. It is as I said a bold move, which if it does not work out will be detrimental to both.

    As for Italiano, another talented player but sadly I think he will know why he was released.

  • May 2, 2013 at 3:18 pm
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    Ashley, unless Cameron is better than other mid fielders in WA then he should not have got the gig. One has to ask the question, how if he is not good enough for the bottom team in the League is he suddenly good enough for Glory. If it is a case of signing WA boys then why was Italiano released. Just does not make sense and is indeed nepotism.
    This is to me a very bad move by Edwards and a very bad start to winning over the fans. We will all remember McMahon.

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