Edwards' Exeter Preview
Joe Edwards wants to have a party for his birthday, and he is hoping to be able to invite around 15,000 people.
It just so happens that the Argyle captain’s 32nd birthday coincides with the 113th Devon derby between Argyle and Exeter City, and one gets the impression Joe is more interested in points on the board than candles in the cake.
Edwards has played more games for Argyle than anyone else in the current squad, and is more than aware of what a fixture against Exeter means to the Green Army, and the city of Plymouth.
“There’s a buzz about it already,” Joe said. “You can feel it all around you just walking in the town, you get little comments.
“We know how much it means to everyone – and what it means to us as well.
“We are looking forward to it, especially me. It’s my birthday as well, so hopefully it is a good one.
“We know what’s at stake, and we are ready for it. We know it will send everyone home happy if we get a good result, so we have to make sure we are focused and ready for the challenge ahead.”
The stage could not be much better set. Argyle top Sky Bet League One and have won all eight home fixtures this season, while Exeter, who were promoted from League One last season, could go to seventh with a victory. The game is live on Sky Sports.
City have recently lost manager Matt Taylor to Rotherham United, replacing him in the dugout with Gary Caldwell, who will be in charge of the Grecians for only the second time.
In a career of over 450 games, Edwards’ experience will count for much in what promises to be a special atmosphere in front of a capacity Home Park crowd, but he admits to not having featured in too many derbies. This one, it is clear, will mean a lot to him.
“In my career, I have not had many big ones,” said Joe. “This is going to be the biggest I have played in, in terms of what it means. We’re at home, it is a sell-out. I’m so excited for it.
“You have to control your emotions and be clever with what you do. Ultimately, more than anything, you want to win the game. You don’t want to lose because of a silly mistake or losing your head.
“There are some good teams in the league this year. [Exeter] are up there at the moment, they are doing well and have a new manager, so they might have that little buzz and bounce. We are in a great position, we want to keep that going. It is a full house and on the TV. We have to produce a performance that will compete in this game and hopefully come out on the right side of it.
“I’ve had mates who have played here, played in a Devon derby and scored or done something well. They are remembered for years and years, so it is a chance to put yourself in Argyle history.
“It is a fantastic club we are part of, and we want to be on the right side of things on Monday night.”