WINNIPEG — David Edgar is not ruling out an eventual move to the Canadian Premier League, but has some unfinished business across the Atlantic to take care of.
Edgar’s recent move to Hartlepool United is twofold; a long dreamed of return to playing in England and a chance to regain his form and stay a fixture in the Canadian national team.
“I have plenty left in the tank,” Edgar said while riding the bus for a mid-week match with his new team.
For now, it seems, Edgar has no plans to be the latest big-name Canadian to launch the CPL’s inaugural season. But don’t be surprised if he eventually returns.
“I’ve had phone calls and discussions about it and it’s a possibility in the future,” Edgar added. “It’s fantastic what they are doing there, I have been keeping a keen eye on it.”
“It” being Canada’s new seven-team league. Then there’s the other squad he’s paying close attention to.
Edgar’s desire to justify a place in the Canadian side sounds almost odd. The now-31-year-old boasts an over 200-game professional career and 42 caps for his country. So, maybe it’s more like proving himself all over again.
Limited first-team action since a serious knee injury in late 2016 left some fans wondering if John Herdman would continue to call the veteran into his squads. But less than a week after putting pen to paper with Hartlepool – a team in the fifth-tier of English football – Edgar was called into Herdman’s side ahead of a March 24th CONCACAF Nations League qualifier against French Guiana.
“I’m excited to be called up,” Edgar said. “I’m heading towards playing regular matches and wanted to have a chance at being called up.”
Running down the roster, Edgar says he feels extra honour in being included in a group that includes exciting youngsters Alphonso Davies, Jonathan David and Ballou Tabla, to name a few.
“Every camp now is a very serious camp,” Edgar said. “There’s a tremendous group of talent in the young guys and then we still have Atiba Hutchinson, maybe our best player ever.”
A quest for match fitness was a priority for the former Premier Leaguer if he wanted to have a shot at staying in that national team picture. Having last played back on Sept. 30, 2018 with the Ottawa Fury, Edgar went 74 mins in his ‘Pools’ debut against Dover Athletic on March 9.
“I felt good, had some cramping late in the match and was eventually subbed off but I thought I did well,” Edgar said. “It’s a different league, and the weather is a factor right now, lots of rain and snow.”
Edgar once again calls Newcastle, England home, the city he moved to as a 14-year-old while working his way up the ranks with Newcastle United. This time the veteran centreback travelled to several trials, starting with League One side Sunderland in December. After stints at Bradford and Carlisle, he locked down a short-term contract with Hartlepool.
?? Defender David Edgar could be become just the second player to win an international cap whilst on the books at #Pools after Canada come calling ahead of a crucial qualifying match…https://t.co/FBCOH2R2uw
— Hartlepool United FC (@Official_HUFC) March 13, 2019
Aside from being conveniently close to home-base in Newcastle, Edgar also has some personal ties to his new club. His father, Eddie Edgar, played goalkeeper for the ‘Pools’ from 1976-1979. While they play in the fifth-tier of English football, Hartlepool has spent most of its lifetime in the Football League and came under the ownership of Indian millionaire Raj Singh in 2018.
“This club deserves to be in the Football League, it’s one I know well because of my dad and it has a great atmosphere about it,” Edgar added.
Edgar knew if the chance to play in England came up, he wanted to take it.
“It’s a rebuilding year (for my career) and I wanted to come back over here and see what happens first, now all I am focused on is the next match.”