His focus remains firmly on his football career – but Dave Edwards is excited that his two Shropshire businesses continue to kick on and flourish.
The former Wales international, who was delighted to return home to sign for Shrewsbury Town in January, has also established himself as a businessman since opening Little Rascals, a popular Shrewsbury indoor soft play centre for young children, with lifelong friend Ben Wootton towards the end of 2015.
The creation of the Little Rascals Foundation, which provides help and support to Shropshire youngsters with disabilities, and their families, swiftly followed.
With a keen interest in business and finance, Dave then became a director of Q Financial Services, when he helped launch the company with Mitchell Gough, a long-time friend, just over two years ago.
The ex-Wolves midfielder is happy to leave the day to day running of Little Rascals and Q to his business partners as he concentrates on returning to full fitness next season following ankle ligament surgery.
But he is thrilled that Little Rascals recently opened its second indoor play centre in Shrewsbury and that Q Financial Services has also expanded by launching a Shrewsbury town centre office alongside its Telford headquarters.
Dave said: “Football’s always going to be my number one priority until I finish playing, but away from the training ground, I get to spend time with my family and also have these other interests. I feel I’ve got a really nice balance and, as a footballer, you’ve got to look to the future as it’s such a short career.
“I do enjoy the coaching side, broadcasting too, but to have something away from football is important to me.
“I’m so fortunate that I’ve got people like Ben and Mitch to help look after things day to day. I still get to concentrate on my football and they run the businesses and make them as successful as they are.”
The established Little Rascals soft play centre in Monkmoor has now been joined by a new Little Rascals Club House, which has just opened across Shrewsbury behind Ego at The Grapes in Bicton Heath.
Dave added: “We’ve always been looking to expand what we do at Little Rascals and when the opportunity arose to have a look at what used to be the Fuzzy Eds soft play centre, we saw somewhere with a lot of potential.
“We knew it needed a lot of work to get it to the standard that we want to offer, but there’s lots we can do from the new site.
“It will be open to the public on various days and also available for private hire for parties and events, as well as holiday clubs and after school clubs. It’s a great way of enhancing what we offer at Monkmoor.
“We take so much pride in what the Little Rascals Foundation does, above anything else, and how much it can help people. That’s what we want to do more and more. That’s where our big goals are in the future.”
Dave is also encouraged by the growth of Q Financial Services, which specialise in arranging mortgages, life and criticial illness protection, corporate protection, accident and income protection, and building and contents insurance.
They also offer wealth management, dealing with pensions and investments.
“It’s just gone from strength to strength,” he said. “We’ve just opened a new office in The Square in Shrewsbury. It’s a great location and gives us a presence in the county town.
“The services we offer are for everyone, including a lot of work on the commercial side, so opening a Shrewsbury office was a natural progression.
“I’m really excited how far this business can go. We want to be a company which offers good, solid advice and want to build a relationship, not just for your lifetime, but for your children’s lifetimes and their children, and really be a company that is recommended by word of mouth. That’s what’s been happening.”
Pictured: Footballer Dave Edwards, left, with two of his fellow directors at Q Financial Services Stuart Mackintosh and Mitchell Gough, and, right, Ben Wootton, his Little Rascals co-owner.