Skrill North club Gloucester City could be the perfect club to re-launch the career of Gloucester-born starlet…..
……Jamie Edge, according to Tigers boss Dave Mehew.
The 19-year-old midfielder has seen his career stutter since earning a dream move to Arsenal from Cheltenham Town as a 15-year-old.
Now without a permanent club after a spell with West Bromwich Albion, Edge played on trial for the Tigers in Saturday’s 1-0 win at Swindon Supermarine.
Impressed with what he saw, Tigers boss Mehew is hoping that the lure of regular football close to home will tempt the classy midfielder to sign for his home-town club.
“We had a good look at Jamie and I think he knows that he’s got to be playing football and that might bode well for us,” Mehew said.
“He’s going to have a look at another club, a Conference club, this week and we’ll take it from there.
“I’m open minded about it. I hope he enjoyed himself in the game at `Marine. I joked with him after the game that it was a case of welcome to the non-League game.
“Games like that are what he’s going to have to endure at the start of his career, wherever he plays.
“He’s done well, he’s obviously got a bit of quality and he grew as the game went on. If we can get him in, then great.”
Edge shot to prominence as a 15-year-old when Arsenal fended off interest from Manchester United to prize him away from the Cheltenham Town youth system.
The Gunners paid a fee, thought to be in excess of £100,000, to sign the Churchdown School pupil in 2009, and Edge moved to London to play full-time for the club’s academy.
He progressed through the youth system to sign a professional contract at the age of 17 and was a regular in the Gunners’ under-18s side and made one appearance for the reserves.
He left Arsenal by mutual consent in the summer of 2011 and spent a year under current England boss Roy Hodgson at West Brom before injury hindered his chances of making a breakthrough.
Released by the Baggies last summer and abandoned by his agent, Edge played for the Nike Academy team last season and is now on the lookout for a permanent home.
And while Mehew believes that his long-term aspirations and ability probably justifies a home in the Football League, he also believes a spell at the Tigers will be beneficial.
“He will have aspirations of playing in League football and perhaps we can help him start that journey to get there.
“He realises that he’s not going to come here and get the crown jewels in terms of money but we might be able to offer him regular first-team football.
“He needs to be waking up on a Saturday morning with a game of football to play, and the other Conference club may not be able to offer him that.
“He’s going to have this game with a Conference side on Wednesday but he’s agreed to come to training on Thursday and we’ll take it from there.
“He could be involved at Shortwood United on Friday and then we will talk about things further if he’s interested, but I’m not going to wait around for longer than a week.”