FOUR time Henderson Medallist Jarrod Edwards has described his decision to play at North Ballarat City as “a return home”.
Edwards, a four-time Ballarat Football League premiership player with Redan, has knocked back big-dollar offers elsewhere to join Peach’s North City this season.
He will take up a playing assistant coach role with senior coach Rob Waters, it was announced yesterday.
Edwards, 33, said he had decided to leave Redan earlier this month but had only decided on a destination club this week.
He said he had spent 19 years of his footballing career at North Ballarat and, while he was proud of his time at Redan, putting on the black and white of North City for the first time “felt right”.
“I always felt, if I left Redan it would be to come here,” Edwards said.
“I played all my grass roots football at North, all my footy from the age of eight through to 26.”
Edwards had fielded offers from a number of country and suburban football clubs, including Central Highlands clubs Hepburn and Buninyong.
He knocked back a substantial offer to join Hepburn, before electing to join North City.
“I only spoke about money with one club, but money has never been my primary motivator to play footy,” Edwards said.
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“I was weighing up my playing future, and whether to play or not this season. I was looking at some kind of coaching appointment and Redan had already secured its coaches.
“So I called them (North City).”
Edwards played in one BFL premiership with North Ballarat and in two losing VFL grand finals with the Roosters.
He played in numerous junior premiership sides with the North Ballarat Junior Football Club.
North City will play Redan just once this season, on July 6 at City Oval.
Edwards was hopeful there would be no hard feelings.
“I gave a lot during my time at Redan and got a lot out of it too.
“I was in four premiership sides there and have been told I will always be welcome,” he said.
“I’ve had a lot of phone calls from Redan people and it’s all been very positive.”