Leeds United manager Paul Heckingbottom has revealed he is pleased with how Ryan Edmondson handled himself on his debut for the club against Queens Park Rangers and detailed his immediate plans for the youngster.
The 16-year-old stepped up from the youth teams into the senior side for the last game of the season and was handed 16 minutes of action from the bench in the 2-0 win.
Speaking after the game, Heckingbottom said that the youngster fitted in well and that he was rewarded for his work ethic with his appearance, insisting that more game time is on the way for him, and other dedicated youngsters, if they work hard enough.
He was quoted on Leeds Live’s live blog (07/05, 10:28): “(He fit in) That’s because he’s massive, isn’t it? He looks 36. But he’s a good guy.
“Why did we put him in? Quite simply he gives everything to be a footballer and that’s what we want to create.
“That’s what we want. We don’t want… I can’t have people who don’t want to be here, I can’t have people here who go through the motions.”
Football Insider verdict
Leeds have a proud tradition of developing young talent through their academy system and it seems as though Edmondson is the next starlet to break through after a season of youngsters making a name for themselves. At 16 he has a lot of learning to do but it sounds as though Heckingbottom has been massively impressed with the hard work and effort he has put in on his journey to become a professional footballer. If he has the talent, then that dedication is the second most important aspect and the manager is showing all the youngsters that working hard will get the rewards. As for Edmondson’s future, he will likely be given more chances in the first team over the summer in their pre-season fixtures. A loan spell could well be on the cards if he continues to impress, and first team football, either at Elland Road or elsewhere, seems the next stage for his development.
In other Leeds United transfer news, one rarely seen star is a near-certainty to remain at the club this summer.