Charlton defender credits mom for saving football career post. . .
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Charlton defender credits mom for saving football career post-Palace release.

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Rarmani Edmonds-Green’s football tale is one of perseverance, but not just because of his own strong desire to play professionally.

The South London defender received his big break when Huddersfield Town signed him out of Nike Academy on his 17th birthday in January 2016.

Edmonds-Green hoped to make the grade at Crystal Palace but was released at the U12 level.

The 25-year-old, who was born in Peckham, is eager to thank his mother for helping him overcome rejection.

“You don’t need to put her name in the article – she’d kill me,” Edmonds-Green joked with the South London Press during a recent interview at Charlton Athletic’s training facility.

“I can’t remember if Palace gave me a reason for letting me go; I just blocked it out of my mind and moved on.”

“I lost all of my confidence and passion for the game. My mother took me out of professional football and back into Sunday league to rekindle my confidence and enthusiasm for the sport. It was quite helpful.

“There was less pressure.” When I got there, I was playing with several people from my neighborhood; it was more of a laugh and relaxation.

“When someone tells you at the age of 11 that you’re not going to earn a contract after training three times a week and playing games on Sundays with these guys for a year, it’s tough. You think you’ll never see your buddies again.

“There was a point where I was going to stop. My mother and I got down and talked about it; she motivated me to keep going.

“I’ll always be thankful to her because, without her giving me that motivation, I don’t think I’d be here doing what I’m doing now.”

Edmonds-Green had recently started a BTEC Sport study at college when the opportunity to trial for Nike Academy arose.

“One of my old coaches said he was doing something with Nike,” Edmonds-Green said. “I did not believe him and preferred to stay at home. Luckily, my mother forced me out of the house that day.

“The trials occurred at Bacon’s College. I advanced to the following phase, past the England stage, and then it was the last 32 of the UK trials. We all headed to Manchester City to slug it out. They chose two from those, and I was chosen.

“I moved on to the global one, which had a variety of academies from across the world. You play and train there, and you live as if you were in the Nike Academy. The coaches meet and select someone they believe will be a good fit for their team. Fortunately, I was one of them.

“It prepared you for the next stage. It was my first time away from home and living like a professional – breakfast, go to train, recover – everything I did then I do now.

Edmonds-Green joined the academy, which was dissolved in 2017, around the same time as Anfernee Dijksteel left to join Charlton. Dijksteel was transferred to Middlesbrough for a cost of £2 million plus add-ons in 2019.

Huddersfield signed Edmonds-Green in 2016. Before going on loan to Brighouse Town and Bromley, he captained their U18 team.

“Before going to college, I’d probably been on trial at Charlton five times,” says the centre-back, who signed a professional contract with the Addicks in January.

“I went all across London, including Millwall and Brentford. Obviously, they were not the top teams in the city, but I continued getting turned down. To finally be signed was the greatest comfort of my life.”

“I was in and around first-team training most days, and I was told I would be playing in the EvoStik League with Brighouse. Initially, I did not want to go, but that loan was arguably the best thing I’ve ever done. I went there to play men’s football and was beaten up. It really toughened me up. I played there for half a season before returning to Huddersfield to make my cup debut.

Bromley was an experience.

“We were flying, so I had to battle for my seat. When I went to Brighouse, I knew I was going to play.

 

“I don’t think I played my natural position there, but any chance of making the team, I was going to take it. I didn’t care what position I played; all I wanted was to play and show off my talent.”

Edmonds-Green was on loan at Swindon Town when they were promoted from League Two in 2020, and he also won two trophies while on loan at Rotherham United. The Millers were League One runners-up in 2022 and won the EFL Trophy.

Edmonds-Green did not participate in the latter’s final, having returned from injury to play what he described as “a stinker” in the previous encounter, but he did score the first goal in a 2-0 win at Gillingham on the final day of the season, securing promotion for Paul Warne’s side.

“Again, I didn’t want to go on loan,” said Edmonds-Green, dubbed REG by Charlton supporters. “I had just completed 26 games in the Championship. I was out injured for ten weeks and believed I deserved a chance to play Championship football.

“Rotherham was one of the best things I’ve ever done.” That group and team are certainly among the best I’ve ever worked with. Most of us are still talking. Freddie (Ladapo, now on loan at Charlton) was part of that team. We went on a fantastic streak of 25 games unbeaten. During that season, we broke numerous club records.

“We were soaring until we struck a sticky patch. I was just in the right place at the right moment in Gillingham. I was blocking the goalie; I extended my foot, and it went in. It was a strange feeling. When the second goal went in after 95 minutes, we knew we were ahead, and the supporters ran wild. It was a weird experience.”

Edmonds-Green made 55 appearances for Huddersfield Town. While originally unwilling to leave the Terriers, Charlton decided to make him their fifth signing of the January transfer window.

Edmonds-Green signed a contract that will last until at least 2026, with the possibility for the club to extend it by another 12 months.

“I have a lot of love for Huddersfield – they gave me a chance when no-one else did,” he added. “But I’ve reached the age where I realize I might need a place to call home.

“I would go abroad on loan every year and then return.

“I started the season and was in and out of Huddersfield; I only started four games. Most of my 14 appearances came off the bench.

“I wanted more, so when I heard about the interest, I was eager for it to happen, because it was also home for me.

“The weird thing is that I’ve been on trial here so many times, and I even had my Championship debut at The Valley. So to return and sign here, it’s odd how the universe works.

“The supporters and boys at Charlton have been fantastic. This is the happiest I’ve felt as a player in a long time.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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