'I was scared to celebrate - my auntie would've shouted'

Wednesday 29 Oct 2014
Marcus Edwards in good spirits at training
Marcus Edwards admits he was too scared to celebrate his goal against Cyprus in case he felt the wrath of his auntie.

The Tottenham Hotspur youngster is currently on the Mediterranean island with the England U17s squad that have recorded two wins out of two in their first round European qualifiers – progressing to the next stage with a game to spare.

But away from the field, it is a place that holds a lot of happy memories for the 15-year-old.

England v France

European U17 Championship
First Round Qualifier
1pm, Thursday 30 October
Paphiakos Stadium, Paphos

“Cyprus always holds a special place in my heart, I come here every summer on holiday as my mum is Cypriot,” Edwards told TheFA.com. “Most of my family are from near Nicosia.

“All my aunties and cousins – well, not even all of them because I have about 40 family members out here – but about 10 of them have come to watch me play.”

Edwards started for the Young Lions in their 4-1 win over the host nation last Saturday, and he managed to create another good memory on these shores as he got himself on the scoresheet  - although he did not dare to celebrate too much.

“It was a weird feeling,” he explained. “And I didn’t really want to celebrate as I’d discussed it with my family and friends at school beforehand.

“I didn’t think I was allowed, I’d have been told off by my aunties - so I just jumped with the nearest person to me.

“But afterwards they were just saying how proud they were.”

He continued: “I can speak and understand the language, so it was weird playing against Cyprus – I could understand everything they were saying on the pitch. In international football, it is kind of a disadvantage when you don’t understand what the other team is saying, but I could."

Although he did not celebrate too much, he does admit that his strike will be one of his most treasured memories from these qualifiers – as well as his other favourite Cypriot thing.

“My goal is up there with my favourite things in Cyprus,” he said.

“And the food, I love it. I eat it at home all the time. My mum makes it for me. My favourite dish is Koupepia, which is vine leaves wrapped around meat. They served it here at the hotel, but it wasn’t as nice as my mum makes.”

And creating memories is something Edwards seems to relish – and he is looking for one more happy one before he departs back to England on Friday.

“We’ve qualified for the Elites, but we want to top the group and beat France.

“It should be a good footballing match, and their style of play is similar to ours, so I think it is going to be quite open.”

By Gary Stonehouse Staff Writer in Paphos, Cyprus