Rangers defender George Edmundson has revealed how the Gerrard family has played a pivotal role in his career. Steven, of course, paid Oldham Athletic £750,000 to sign the central defender during the close season but his clan had been influential long before he appeared on Rangers’ radar.
The 22-year-old broke into the first team at Boundary Park four years ago and, for two-and-a-half years, he was either playing alongside Steven’s cousin, Anthony, or attempting to displace him in the starting XI.
Now with Chesterfield, the veteran centre-back passed on advice and criticism in equal measure and helped smooth off some of Edmundson’s rough edges, a process which paved his way to Ibrox.
“When I came to Oldham Anthony, who is a lively character and very vocal, was the centre-half,” he said. ”But he was very good to me and I have learned a lot from him. He’s the gaffer’s cousin and he still texts me all the time.
“Peter Clarke was similar to Gerrard in that he’s another established Championship and League One player. I can’t describe how much I learned from him, especially in my last season. Just little things about being a defender; I certainly wouldn’t be here without those two.
“Does the gaffer ever talk about me playing with his cousin? A bit. He doesn’t touch on it too much but they will have spoken about me.”
Edmundson has been a bit-part player thus far due to the consistency of Connor Goldson and Nikola Katic but he refuses to be downbeat about that state of affairs, using the latter as inspiration. The Croatian was signed by Gerrard, pictured, last year but also struggled to command a regular place. “It’s frustrating but I saw that Connor and Niko did really well towards the end of last season so it was only right that they should keep their place,” he said. “I knew, coming in, I would have to fight for my place; I didn’t expect to come in here and start straight away. I need to earn the right to play and earn my place.
“Niko’s someone I look up to. Last season he was in the same situation that I’m in now. He’s someone I can learn from, along with Connor and Filip Helander. He spoke to me – and some of the staff have spoken about it too – about how Niko was in and out last season but he kept going. They’ve told me to do the same, keep my head up and try and stay in the team when my chance comes along.
“It’s hard coming from Oldham and having played every minute of every game but I knew it was going to be like this so I’m not going to get down about it – I’ll take every day as it comes and enjoy it.”