Paul Peschisolido, the former Sheffield United centre-forward, last night explained why fellow Canadian David Edgar possesses the qualities required to follow in his footsteps and carve a successful career at Bramall Lane.
Peschisolido, who made over 100 appearances during two spells with the club, told The Star he is tracking his compatriot’s progress with interest after drawing parallels between their route into the English game.
“There are certain traits I think most Canadian players have which give us an opportunity to do well,” Peschisolido said. “Perhaps the most important one, particularly in David’s instance and also mine, is that you’ve got to be so dedicated and work so hard to get the opportunities.
“When I was first coming through, I can absolutely assure you that teams didn’t have the worldwide scouting networks they do now. There were no scouts from Europe in Canada and I doubt, even though it wasn’t so long ago, that it was the same with David. Of course, with the MLS, things are changing now but back then it was completely different.
“Everything you got, you had to earn. I played with so many talented kids when I was a youngster. Plenty of them could have become footballers but, because of the geography, that wasn’t enough. You had to have the attitude too.”
Edgar, aged 28, has attributed his determination to representing the Canadian nation team which, following this summer’s Gold Cup, is placed 101 on the FIFA ranking list.
Peschisolido, capped 53 times by his country, echoed those sentiments but explained how cultural traits are also likely to have helped the central defender’s cause.
“As David has explained, when you are with Canada, you are always the underdog and that gives you a certain mindset,” he said. “You are ready to fight and fight hard. You are always up against it. But I also think that sportspeople from North America are also brought up a little bit differently from elsewhere.
“We’re taught the importance of being polite and how that can persuade people to give you opportunities. If you watch Family Guy, you’ll see what I mean because people from the States love to make fun of us for it. Also, we understand the humour here too. And, if you are going to do well in England, you’ve got to be a part of the dressing room banter. In Canada, we place great importance on being nice but we understand the sarcasm and stuff like that.”