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While he is recuperating from a ligament injury sustained during last June’s CONCACAF World Cup qualifier against Dominican Republic in Santo Domingo, national senior football team midfielder Carlos Edwards is setting his sights on becoming involved in the restaurant industry.

Adamant that he could “fall back on something after football,” the 25-year-old Carlos admitted that he will try his hand in the food business “because people have to eat. At the end of the day, you never know.... I was also concentrating on auto rentals but I’ll wait and see how it comes.” Edwards’ injury caused a stir with his English League One team Wrexham as he was ruled out of action for seven months and required surgery on his left leg. Initially, it was reported that he will regain full fitness within a month, but after further testing, scans revealed medical ligament and cartilage damage. Club officials, furious at the turn of events, demanded compensation from the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation (TTFF) for the period in which Carlos will miss for the club. But Carlos is hopeful that he will make a full recovery by year’s end.
That turn of events came at a crucial time in Carlos’ career as he was emerging as one of the national team’s most consistent and integral performers since making his international debut at the 1999 Copa Caribe (Caribbean) tournament. Following his move from the Defence Force to the Welsh club in 2000, for a fee of £125,000, he established himself as one of the team’s leading players — named on the Professional Football Association’s (PFA) English Third Division Team of the Year after the 2002-03 season and the PFA English Second Division Team of the Year for the 2003-04 season. He was also voted as Wrexham’s “Player of the Year” by their fan base for the last two seasons but he remarked, “Unfortunately I got this injury because I was looking for a three-peat but all good things must come to an end.” Looking back at his career, Carlos began by stating: “I started off playing in my local village, Patna Village in Diego Martin.” His first taste of competitive action came in 1991 when, under the eyes of his uncle Robert Peterson, he featured in an Under-15 team that copped the knockout title and finished second in the Savannah Leagues. Carlos’ promise was evident at such a tender age as, during that season, he claimed the prizes for the Most Valuable Player and the Leading Goalscorer.
After two years attending Diego Martin Junior Secondary, he moved to St Anthony’s College in Westmoorings where, in 1997, he captained the team to victory in the Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) Intercol title, with a 2-1 win over favourites St Benedict’s at the Queen’s Park Oval. “It was real good,” was the way he described his experience at school level. “I wish I could go back but (chuckling) I can’t carry back the hands of time.” After spending part of the 1998 local season with Queen’s Park, he joined the Defence Force, where he was part of their successful 1999 Professional Football League campaign alongside past and present national players such as Dennis Lawrence, Errol McFarlane Jr (whose father was the coach), Hutson Charles, Ross Russell and Kerry Jamerson. And the elder McFarlane was instrumental in Edwards’ reversal to the wide-midfield position. “I started off playing as a striker but I’m the type of player who likes running,” he admitted. “As coaches tend to do, they change player positions and McFarlane (senior) played a system which had me on the wing and, ever since, I’ve played as a right-side midfielder.”
Edwards noted that he has finally adjusted to the way of life in Wales. “Going into a new country, a whole new lifestyle, at first it was like a dream come true to go and play in the English Leagues but it took a while to adapt. It was a challenge, just like when I went into the Army but I like a challenge.” “The first couple of years were really tough because you’re now getting to know people,” he continued. “To be fair, I was up there before I started my family. I mean, my immediate family is not around but I now have a son and a wife and my friends (and current teammates) Dennis and Hector (Sam) so (to me) that’s our family.” His wife Teressa, also a Trinidadian, is a sales assistant as well as a promising gospel singer who Carlos noted: “At the moment she’s doing good so far.” Would he want his son Tristan, who was born in Chester, England, to follow in his footsteps? “I would love to, even though it’ll be a battle between myself and my wife’s (aspirations). But I’m going to leave that decision up to him.” Carlos states that amongst his family of two sisters and three brothers, he is the only one to play the sport seriously since his parents, staunch Seventh Day Adventists, resented his decision to play during the weekly Sabbath periods. But he stresses that on a day-to-day basis, he is basically “a happy fella who loves life, likes to enjoy himself and go out, have a laugh and socialise with anybody.”