When Curtis Edwards made his senior debut for Darlington Football Club at nineteen years old he would never have guessed that seven years later he would be lining up for the Swedish Champions, Djurgården.
Edwards’ story is as remarkable as it is unique. The midfielder is a product of the Middlesbrough academy system where he was considered a gifted player. He began his career at Darlington before signing for Thornaby and Spennymoor Town. Despite playing well for the Northern League clubs, Edwards later admitted that he spent too much time partying and clubbing.
It was then he was offered a lifeline signing for Ytterhogdals IK, a Swedish football team playing in the fifth tier of Swedish football. In the remote northern Swedish countryside, away from distractions he found his form.
Edwards was then offered a trial at Östersunds, a club playing in the Allsvenskan, the top tier of Swedish football. He impressed the team’s coach, and ex footballer, Brian Wake in a friendly and was signed in 2016. He would go onto become a cult figure at Östersunds, making 81 appearances and winning the Swedish Cup. Edwards also played in the club’s famous Europa League campaign, in which the Swedish minnows beat teams such as Galatasaray, PAOK and Athletic Bilbao before losing to Arsenal 2-4 in the round of 32.
As he neared the end of his three year contract with Östersund, Edwards was courted by a number of top tier Swedish clubs. Eventually it was Djurgården, the Stockholm based club and twelve time Swedish champions who signed the then 25-year old midfielder. Edwards scored on his debut and would go onto make twelve appearances for the club as they were crowned Champions in his first season at Djurgården.
Unfortunately Edwards’ first season in the Champions League ended in defeat during the first round to Hungarian team Ferencvárosm who would later knock out Celtic.
Djurgården are currently fifth in the Allsvenskan with 20 matches played. They are only three points behind second placed Häcken. The bookies have Edwards’ Djurgården as fourth favorites to win the title. If you are based in the US then make sure to use the 888Sport bonus when betting on any European league.