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Charlton Athletic defender praises mum for saving football career after Crystal Palace release


Rarmani Edmonds-Green’s footballing story is one of persistence – but not just his own burning desire to make it in the professional game.

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

Edmonds-Green had aspirations of making the grade at Crystal Palace but was released at U12 level.

The 25-year-old, born in Peckham, is quick to praise his mum for helping him bounce back from rejection.

“You don’t need to put her name in the article – she’d kill me,” laughed Edmonds-Green when he sat down with the South London Press recently at Charlton Athletic’s training ground.

“I can’t really remember if Palace gave me a reason for letting me go – I kind of blocked it out of my system and moved forwards.

“I lost all my confidence and love for the game. My mum took me out of professional football and back into Sunday league, to try and build my confidence and love for the sport again. It helped a lot.

“There was less pressure. When I was there I was playing with my friends from my area, it was more of a laugh and relaxed.

“When someone has told you at the age of 11 that you’re not going to get a contract – you’ve been training three times a week and playing games on a Sunday with these guys for a whole year – it’s hard. You think you’re never going to see your friends again.

“There was a point when I was going to stop. Me and my mum sat down and spoke about it – she gave me the motivation to carry on.

“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.”

Bromley v FC Halifax, Vanarama National League, Westminster Waste Stadium, 26 October 2019

Edmonds-Green had just started a BTEC Sport course at college when the opportunity to trial for Nike Academy came up.

“One of my old coaches said he was doing something with Nike,” recollected Edmonds-Green. “I didn’t believe him and I wanted to stay at home. Luckily my mum did force me out the house that day.

“The trials were at Bacon’s College. I got into the next round, past the England stage, then it was the last 32 of the UK trials. We all went to Manchester City and battled it out. They picked two from that and I got selected.

“I went on to the global one, loads of different academies from all over the world. You play and train there – you live like you are in the Nike Academy. The coaches come together and pick who they feel can go into their team. Luckily enough I was one of them.

“It got you ready for the next step. It was my first time away from home and living like a professional – breakfast, go and train, recovery – everything I was doing there I do now.

Edmonds-Green joined the academy, which dissolved in 2017, just as Anfernee Dijksteel left that set-up to sign for Charlton. Dijksteel was sold to Middlesbrough for a £2million fee – plus add-ons – in 2019.

Huddersfield put a deal in place for Edmonds-Green in 2016. He captained their U18 team before loan spells at Brighouse Town and Bromley.

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

“I went all over London – the likes of Millwall and Brentford. Obviously they were not the top teams in the capital – but I kept not getting in. To finally get signed was the biggest relief of my life.”

“I was in and around the first-team training most days and I was told I was going to the EvoStik League with Brighouse. Initially I didn’t want to go – but that loan is probably the best thing I’ve ever done. I went there to play men’s football and got beaten up. It toughened me up so much. I played half a season there then came back and made my debut for Huddersfield in the cup.

“Bromley was an experience.

“We were flying – so I had to fight for my place. When I went Brighouse I knew I was going to play.

Picture: Paul Edwards

“I don’t think I played my actual position there – but any kind of sniff of getting in the team, I was going to take it. I didn’t care what position it was – I just wanted to play and showcase my talent.”

Edmonds-Green was on loan at Swindon Town when they won promotion from League Two in 2020 and also picked up two bits of silverware while temporarily with Rotherham United. The Millers were League One runners-up in 2022 and lifted the EFL Trophy.

Edmonds-Green did not play in the final of the latter – coming back from injury to play what he called “a stinker” in the fixture prior – but he scored the opener in a 2-0 win at Gillingham on the final day of the season which clinched promotion for Paul Warne’s side.

“Again I didn’t want to go on loan,” said Edmonds-Green, nicknamed REG by Charlton fans. “I’d just played 26 games in the Championship. I was out injured for 10 weeks and felt I deserved a shot to play Championship football.

“Rotherham was one of the best things I ever did. That group and team is probably one of the best I’ve ever worked with. Most of us still talk. Freddie (Ladapo, now on loan at Charlton) was in that team. We went on a crazy run of games, like 25 unbeaten. We broke a lot of records that season for the club.

“We were flying and then hit a sticky patch. I was just in the right place at the right time at Gillingham. I was blocking the keeper, I put my foot out and it went in. It was a weird feeling. When the second goal went in after 95 minutes it was carnage – we knew we were up and the fans ran on. It was a surreal moment.”

Edmonds-Green made 55 apperances for Huddersfield Town. While reluctant previously to leave the Terriers, that was not the case when Charlton moved to make him their fifth addition of the January transfer window.

Edmonds-Green penned a deal until at least 2026 with a club option to extend by a further 12 months.

“I have a lot of love for Huddersfield – they gave me a chance when no-one else did,” he said. “But I got to the age of realising maybe I need somewhere to call home.

Picture: Paul Edwards

“I was going out on loan every year and then coming back.

“I started the season and I was in and out at Huddersfield- I only started four times. Most of my 14 appearances were off the bench.

“I wanted more, so when I heard about the interest I was pushing for it to happen, because it was back home for me as well.

“The funny thing is that I can say I’ve been on trial here so many times and even when I made my Championship debut it was at The Valley. So to come back and sign here, it’s strange how the world works.

“The fans and boys have been great at Charlton. This is the happiest I’ve been as a player for a long time.”

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