Rob Edmans was one of those players who held – and still holds, a cult status with many City fans. The 6ft 6 striker enjoyed three separate spells with City between 2009 and 2014 making well over a hundred appearances and netting in excess of 30 goals.
Edmans’ towering height made him a threat and caused havoc amongst opposition defences as they tried to deal with the physical side of his game.
I spoke to Robbie via Facebook recently to look back on his time with the Clarets and find out a bit more about him and his career.
Tell us a bit about you time with the Virginia Teck Hokies. How did it all come about and what was it like playing college “soccer” in America?
VT – that brings back some good memories. 10 years ago I was offered a scholarship out there for a year in between my studies at Loughborough. (Churchy played for Loughborough with me final year – he had a terrible haircut then as well). The soccer was a culture change, very athletic, but also quite open games. I met some great people, saw a bit more of the world and I had a great laugh.
You had 3 spells with Chelmsford and first joined the club a year after we arrived at Conference South level, with a lot of expectation around the place. Do you remember what made you decide to join and to keep coming back?
Three reasons: It was round the corner, the fans seemed to like me, and I trusted Glenn Pennyfather. I always felt that if I couldn’t make it as a pro, then I only really wanted to be at City. The club has a lot going for it, and every time I played it was a pleasure to be part of it.
City missed out in the play-offs in both season’s during your first spell at the club. What was that like to do so well for both seasons and to just miss out both times?
The playoffs were tough. We had some fantastic teams, but got outplayed in the play-offs. I thought we were really strong in my first two seasons, and we didn’t do well enough in the first leg to really give us a chance. The third time we lost the play-offs we had many injuries and we lacked a bit of cutting edge in the two games.
This year I think is our year to really push on. Rod Stringer is a very good leader and manager so I think we are heading for another strong finish and hopefully a promotion.
Your performances during this time earned you a move to the Football League with Dagenham & Redbridge. Was that your first professional contract?
The move to Daggers was a proud moment for me. I’d never been at a pro youth team or had any experience of it before. I had a good season and was starting to understand how to play centre forward. I think Wayne Gray helped a lot also. His work and physical presence allowed me to get on the ball more. There were a few options on the table when I thought about going pro but the double fracture of fibula in the last league game made it more challenging
After a couple of loan spells, you arrived back at City on loan before making the move permanent in February 2013. Was it a difficult decision to rejoin Chelmsford?
It was never a difficult decision to rejoin the Clarets, it was and has always been my favourite place to play football so it was very easy to come back. I have always enjoyed how well I was respected as a player and how much the club and fans looked after it’s players.
Who were the best players you played with during your time at Chelmsford?
Great question. Best leader: Rains… what an inspiration, a great leader and a great people person. He pushed me to the next level as much as anyone and the team was always improved in a game or in training when he was there.
Best player: Ricky Holmes… Hard to look past Slick for the player with the most ability. Could dribble, finish and link up as well as anyone and a great bloke too.
Outside of those I have massive soft spots for Mark Haines, who is just a hilarious and honest guy and a fantastic centre half. Matt Lock is still a close mate too and Ben Martin, Anthony Cook, Wayne Gray, and Johnny Martin are all players I remember very fondly.
What did you do after leaving City at the end of the 2013-14 campaign? Did you continue playing or leave football to pursue other interests?
When I left Chelmsford I wanted to focus on working in London and on my family. I didn’t have time to do it all. I still follow Chelmsford and love to see them do well, but I couldn’t commit to training and performing every week with work.
I’d like to thank Robbie for his time and wish him all the best for the future. What are you fondest memories of his time with City?