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Clovis Kamdjo and Jordan Brown discuss former Juventus star Edgar Davids' influence on the Barnet squad
Edgar Davids cuts a striking figure. The dreadlocks. The signature protective glasses he wears while playing. His drive to impose his authority on a match – whatever the level.
And it helps that he’s also got a somewhat impressive footballing pedigree.
So when he walks up to the younger team members at Barnet to help them improve their game, they tend to listen. There aren’t many clubs in League Two that can call on the expertise of an iconic player who has won the Champions League, played 74 times for his country and exudes the stylish and sublime confidence which inspired Barnet to a timely win against Northampton.
His influence on players like Clovis Kamdjo, who grew up watching Davids, is already apparent.
The 23-year-old aims to replicate Davids’ role as a holding midfielder whose prime task is to break up opposition attacks and help maintain possession.
“He demands more from the players and he is always putting pressure on us to do well,” the Cameroonian explained.
“As soon as he arrived and saw me in training he was straight on to me. He knows what you have to do as a defensive midfielder and he told me you have to get your body in the right position all the time, be ready to receive a pass and be talking to the midfielders in front of you.
“So every day in training he is helping me. But he has helped everyone.
“After the first few sessions he knew what everybody could do and was very quick to talk and help the players.”
Many of the young players who joined the Bees in the summer were released from clubs in the Premier League or the Championship.
They’ve been given an opportunity at Barnet to showcase their talent and perhaps kick-start a career in a higher league.
Left-back Jordon Brown is a good example. Having left West Ham in the summer Mark Robson was quick to bring the 20-year-old to Underhill. He’s featured in every game this season – but probably didn’t imagine that a player of Davids calibre would unexpectedly turn out to help strengthen his game.
Brown said: “Edgar has spoken to nearly all of us individually and has helped us. He has tweaked little things and it helped us win on Friday.
“He is used to playing with some of the best players in the world so I’m sure he is going to become frustrated with us sometimes. But he will soon get used to it.
“The first day he trained with us he got stuck in straight away. So we knew what he was going to be like on the pitch.
“It has been good for me to play with him. Mark gave me a chance to play in the Football League and I thank him for that.
“Hopefully now I can push on.”
Robson has formed a mutually respectful and workable relationship with Davids.
He has spoken of the enthusiasm the Dutchman has brought to training sessions and has helped instil confidence in a team he’d started to rebuild after the narrow relegation escape last season.
Between the high-profile former international, and the modest, shrewd and experienced Robson, Barnet’s players can’t complain they don’t know what’s now expected of them.
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