Ryan Edmondson plans to draw inspiration from Mark Viduka as he works to carve out a long career with Leeds United after signing a new three-year contract.
Edmondson, a lifelong Leeds fan, said he has set himself the target of making a lasting impact at Elland Road having extended his stay with the club to 2021 today.
The 17-year-old, who United signed from non-league York City last year, has one first-team appearance to his name after making his debut against Queens Park Rangers in May and is training regularly under head coach Marcelo Bielsa having impressing the Argentinian through pre-season.
Edmondson grew up watching players like Viduka, the Australian international who helped fuel the dramatic progress of the David O’Leary era at Elland Road and scored 59 Premier League goals in four seasons with the club.
Edmondson told LUTV: “My footballing hero, as a Leeds United fan, I’d have to say was Mark Viduka, a legend for the club. You always strive to be as successful as he was.
“I’m a big fan of the club and I have been since I was a kid. I always dreamed of stepping out at Elland Road and to be here is unbelievable. We’ve got a new manager, a world-class manager, and it’ll be good to have the experience of being coached by him.”
Edmondson played as a centre-back in his younger years and his huge frame led former head coach Paul Heckingbottom, the manager who handed him his debut at 16 years of age last season, to joke that the forward “looks like he’s 36!”
“I used to be a centre-half because of my size but at centre-forward you’re much more involved in the game and you’ve got the thrill of scoring a goal for your team,” Edmondson said.
“I’m a big player so I’ve never been the most agile. In a straight line sprint I’m quick but I have to work on my first touch. I’d love to get some more appearances for the first team this season but as a club we’re striving for promotion.”