When Clicker met Rob...again!

Hatters manager Rob Edwards was a Barnsley player as Jordan Clark came through the Oakwell ranks in 2011, often training with the first team alongside current England international John Stones.


The two were together again this afternoon for the EFL Utilita Kids Cup, hosted by the Luton Town Community Trust at Creasey Park in Dunstable. They are pictured above with the Year 6 boys from The Arnold Academy in Barton-le-Clay, who were representing the Hatters in the Southern section ot the tournament that features 16,000 children competing to represent their club at Wembley before the Championship play-off final in May.

Asked about his pride in the small role he has played in the midfielder's career, both at the start as a teenager in the Championship and now in his prime as one of the best players outside the Premier League, Edwards said: "I am proud. I’ve been a tiny part, nothing. But there were four players that I remember trained with us quite a lot at Barnsley.

"It was Jordan, Paul Digby, who has gone on and played, Danny Rose, who has gone on and played, and John Stones.

"Everything that everyone sees now, Clicker could do all of that back then as well and I love how everyone’s journey through their career is different. He’s really had to work and fight and continue to be everything that he is now, for years and years and years, to get to this point now where is at the top end of the Championship for the past couple of years.

"It really makes me smile and to be a little part now, to have a little bit of an influence in his career, is great.

"But all we do is really try to create a good environment for him, and allow him to play. It’s his talent and everything else, his honesty and his work-rate, that’s got him to where he is, and all we’ll try and do is provide a good environment for him to go out and try things and play.

"He’s rewarding us and the football club with brilliant performances. Long may that continue, but he’s another one who is just a pleasure to work with every day."

Asked for his recollections of those early days in south Yorkshire, Clicker says: "It's a funny one, because I never played with Rob, but I was around him a lot training wise. He’s not really changed much from what I remember.

“The first thing people asked me when he came in was, ‘What’s he like?’ And I just said, 'He’s just one of the nicest men you’re ever going to meet, one of the friendliest guys who will give you the time of day and as much information as you need'.

“Back then he was giving me pointers about coming through as a young kid, and now he’s giving me pointers as a manager, so it’s both ends of the spectrum. He just wants you to be the best you can and express yourself, play with freedom, don’t worry about making mistakes.

“As an attacking player, like I think I am, it’s just music to your ears. Especially when you get around the box, 'Just try things and don’t worry if you give the ball away'.

“The big thing – the message the staff have implemented – is the reactions, 'Just be aggressive, win the ball back as high as you can, don’t be sulking if you give the ball away, just react', and I think the lads have just taken it in their stride.

“You can see we are playing with a lot of freedom, enjoying our football as a real aggressive, front footed team which started obviously with Nathan, and we can’t forget that, but with just a little bit more freedom with a lot of the lads, and expressing yourself, which is just taking us to another place.

“I think there is a real confidence going into every game. We don’t fear anyone. We got beat by Burnley a few weeks ago, but we said afterwards that if this is the best team in the league, we won’t be far away.”

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