Stoke full-back Edwards 'feels like a new player'

Published on: 06 June 2023

Tom Edwards has played 51 times for Stoke City so far

Defender Tom Edwards says he feels "like a new player" after recovering from injury and wants to prove he has a future at Stoke City next season.

Edwards has not played for the Potters since January 2020 and has been out of action since getting injured while on loan at Barnsley at the start of 2023.

He is yet to play under Stoke boss Alex Neil.

"I'm fully recovered and this off-season is my most important one. That's how I'm seeing it," Edwards, 24, said.

"I've been away but now I want to stay. I want to be here with my family, playing for my local club and that's what I'm using this off-season for - to make sure I'm ready to go."

Edwards made his senior debut for Stoke as a teenager under then boss Mark Hughes in a chastening 7-2 defeat by Manchester City in October 2017.

    We know what we need to fix - Stoke boss Neil

His last appearance was in the Potters' FA Cup third round loss at Brentford in January 2020.

A three-month loan in League One with Fleetwood followed before a two-season stint in America with Major League Soccer side New York Red Bulls.

His season-long loan with Barnsley this term was cut short by injury after 15 appearances.

Now back with Stoke, Edwards is keen to show Neil what he can do.

"I feel like a new player. I'm a lot more mature, played different positions and understand the game more," he told BBC Radio Stoke.

"I'm looking forward to showing the manager what I've got and to make sure I give everything.

"When I came back from Barnsley, I saw how the club was under Alex Neil and can see the changes starting to happen - good changes, you can feel it around the building.

"He's a good manager for the situation Stoke City find themselves in. He understands the players and he's got this window to grow a team he wants to play so I'm sure we'll have a good season."

Stoke finished 16th in the Championship this season and will face Leeds United, Southampton and former Premier League champions Leicester City in the second tier next term.

Despite their disappointing campaign, Edwards is confident the Potters can rediscover their form.

"We're Stoke City and we're a big club too - I know we haven't shown that in the past few seasons but we're a massive club in this league and that's what all the players and staff are keen to show everyone," he said.

Tom Edwards had to be helped from the field after getting injured playing for Barnsley against Derby in the FA Cup in January


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