JOSH EDWARDS has admitted he didn’t see a change of Athletic manager coming – but it did not dilute his eagerness to stay put.

The 21-year-old, who joined from Airdrieonians in the summer of 2019, put pen to paper on a two-year contract extension this week after a season in which he made the left back berth his own.

Having missed only two of the Pars’ 36 competitive matches – playing every minute of those he did feature in – Edwards’ performances were reflected in him being voted as the club’s Young Player of the Year by both the supporters and management team.

Since then, head coach Stevie Crawford has departed and has been replaced by former Alloa Athletic boss, Peter Grant, who was unveiled by the club on Friday.

Edwards says he is looking forward to working with the new man in charge and told Press Sport that changes in the dugout had no bearing on his desire to remain a Dunfermline player.

“As soon as I heard that the club wanted to extend it (his contract), it was a case of getting pen to paper as quickly as I could,” he explained.

“Compared to other seasons that I’ve played, this is the one that I’ve played the most games in so it’s definitely the one that I’ve seen the most improvement in myself.

“I feel like I’ve got a lot better in the defensive side of the game, I feel like I’ve been fitter this year, and just overall playing better than I have been, finding passes easier.

“Obviously, in the first season, I was in and out the team, but this season I was playing near enough every game – I think it was just two games or something that I didn’t play.

“It has been a big help that I’ve just been able to keep playing, keep playing, keep playing, so I’ve enjoyed this season. Obviously, I was disappointed with the way it ended but that will spur us on for next season.

“It was disappointing for everybody at the club. We wanted to do better than that but it will definitely give us that edge for the start of next season to go and start it off well.”

Edwards said that while he didn’t think many of his team-mates saw Crawford’s departure coming, he was looking forward to working with Grant, despite having yet to speak to him directly.

The new boss has stated that winning the division is the aim, and Edwards continued: “It’s exciting.

“That means he sees something in all of us and believes in us already, so it can only be good things if he’s saying that in his first interview.

“He’s clearly very happy with the squad he’s got and hopefully we can show him that he’s right.

“Obviously, he likes keeping the ball, moving the ball and that sort of thing, so it’s going to be exciting to see how we shape up with him.

“With Hamilton and Killie coming down, two clubs that have been mainstays in the top flight for a good few years now, it’s going to be interesting to see how they shape up and how we face up against them.”