Preview: Airdrieonians vs Ayr United
December 21, 2017
Josh Edwards wants Airdrie's good home form to continue against league leaders Ayr United.
The 17-year-old has burst onto the scene at New Broomfield with some impressive performances, and says he is loving every minute of it.
“It’s a totally new experience, but it’s been great and I’m really enjoying it.
"I’d say I’m doing alright, but I know I can play a lot better - there’s a lot more to come. Overall I think I’m doing okay and I'm definitely developing a lot more."
Wing-back Edwards was snapped up from Crosshouse Boys Club and quickly became a regular in the Under 20s side, showing maturity in a defensive role while also displaying a willingness to get forward.
He made his first-team debut against Forfar Athletic earlier this month and has started subsequent matches against Raith Rovers and Queen's Park - but he admits it's a big step up from Development League football.
“The fitness side of it is a lot more intense.
"I’ve been cramping up in the last couple of games, but I've found you also have to be mentally prepared for the challenges that bigger, more physical players will present to you."
Edwards may hail from Ayrshire himself, but the Kilmarnock lad is keen to help the Diamonds to three points against Ian McCall's high-flying United.
“Obviously they’re a great side as their results show. They’re top of the league on merit, so they’ll be coming here looking to turn us over like they’ve been doing to every other team.
“We tend to do well against the teams at the top as we showed down at Ayr, and in the recent game against Raith.
“Our home form is good too, so I’m hoping we can continue that against Ayr and take something from the game”
First team coach Stephen Findlay echoed the youngster's sentiments.
"While Saturday's game is a huge challenge, we’ve already put in a good performance at Somerset Park.
"If we make sure we defend well as a unit, we get tight to people, and we go and compete higher up the park, then we can be creative and make our own opportunities, so that’s how we’re going to set ourselves up."
Ryan Conroy remains sidelined for the Diamonds alongside captain Marc Fitzpatrick, who expects to resume full training next month.
Referee Scott Millar was in charge of Airdrie's first home league tie of the season, a 1-1 draw with Arbroath.