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Former Irish International Ward Training With Town
Monday, 10th Aug 2020 11:35

Town have revealed that former Republic of Ireland left-back Stephen Ward will spend the next week or so training at Playford Road.

The 34-year-old Dubliner is a free agent having left Stoke City at the end of 2019/20.

“Stephen is with us for a little while,” Town’s general manager football operations Lee O’Neill told the club site.

“He’s training with us and will have a look at the club and we will have a look at him. It’s no more than that at this stage.”

Ward started his career with hometown club Bohemians before joining Wolves, then managed by Mick McCarthy, in January 2007 with then-Town boss Jim Magilton having confirmed that the Blues were also interested.

Ward spent seven years at Molineux featuring regularly in the Premier League before moving on to Burnley in 2014.

After five further seasons in the top flight at Turf Moor, the 5ft 11in tall left-back or winger moved to Stoke last summer. However, he made only 17 appearances and left at the end of the season. Ward has been capped 50 times by the Republic of Ireland, scoring three times.

Town running the rule over Ward would appear to suggest that they are looking at alternative to former loanee Luke Garbutt, who the Blues are known to have pursued this summer.

However, the League One salary cap introduced on Friday has limited Town’s ability to add to their squad and the Blues management seem to have opted to move on to another target likely to demand a lower wage, despite reports over the weekend that a final offer had been made to the ex-Everton man, who is also interesting Sunderland.

Photo: Action Images

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Dennyx4 added 11:41 - Aug 10
Would be a good acquisition - much needed experience

ArnieM added 11:44 - Aug 10
Agreed but again I’m concerned about the usual when looking at mid thirties players.....Wages?....injuries record?

d77sgw added 11:45 - Aug 10
We need a solid left-back. Edwards is decent attacking midfielder wasted out of position, and Kenlock just isn't up to it (average defensively, offers nothing going forward). Yes please!

d77sgw added 11:45 - Aug 10
We need a solid left-back. Edwards is decent attacking midfielder wasted out of position, and Kenlock just isn't up to it (average defensively, offers nothing going forward). Yes please!

BlueandTruesince82 added 11:51 - Aug 10
Thats plan B to Garbutt then... normally age isnt a major factor for me but your left back needs legs... at 34 I'd be worried about pace...

yarmoblue added 11:51 - Aug 10
You can say that again d77sgw

Bergholt_Blue added 11:58 - Aug 10
Garbutt's replacement right there

Pencilpete added 12:03 - Aug 10
he's 35 next week so a couple of seasons in the youth team and he'll be good to go !

Eiffel78 added 12:05 - Aug 10
Decent plan B if we don't get Garbutt. Solid enough for a year or so, giving us time to find a longer term solution. Good to see us actually planning for contingencies rather than putting all our eggs in one basket as we have in the past.

Sparky85 added 12:14 - Aug 10
Don't mind this at all. Little experience to add to the back line and could help bring players like Kenlock, Clements and Smith on a bit.
I don't think this would signal the end of the Garbutt pursuit either. Think we all saw last year that Garbutt was better further forward than at LB.
As already mentioned though, wages and budgets will be key to either/both

tractorboybig added 12:15 - Aug 10
he is free, he will be cheap to pay, just what we are looking for.

OwainG1992 added 12:19 - Aug 10
I understand why some would be down on this but o think it would be a wise signing.
Also shows we have some pull in the market.

MaySixth added 12:26 - Aug 10
Important position.
Need some quality.
It's all to do with the trial I guess.

Pencilpete added 12:26 - Aug 10
We'd better snap him up quick before Sunderland do !

TimmyH added 12:35 - Aug 10
Welcome to the retirement home Stephen (if you come) always some nice proper green grass to graze on at Playford Road and some nice wages with little expectations, just ask monsieur Skuse and Chambers.

TractorRoyNo1 added 12:39 - Aug 10
So when is he off to Sunderland?

midastouch added 12:45 - Aug 10
Are the scouts still on furlough?

Cakeman added 12:57 - Aug 10
The sort of player who would be ideal for the short term promotion goal. Not worried about potential lack of pace as you don’t need to be Billy Whiz to be a good defender. With all his experience I’m sure he can read the game well which is all that’s needed at league one level.

BtreeBlueBlood added 13:07 - Aug 10
Keep any funds we have for a striker!
This would be a good short term addition- playing for burnley he should help toughen up the back line and give kenlock or another time to more up or ship out!

martin587 added 13:21 - Aug 10
Could be a very good one season signing.Full of experience and as others have said pace is not everything but experience is.At least we’re thinking ahead in case the LG signing fails.Best save a few bob for a striker and central defender I think.

Carberry added 13:21 - Aug 10
So when he plays alongside Chambers, Wilson (when Woolfenden is gone) and KVY that will be a back four with a cumulative age of 124 years. That should work.

dirtydingusmagee added 14:05 - Aug 10
O'Neil said he is only here to look the place over and for them to get a look at him ,nothing more .No mention of football, He may be here to help with the painting .

Oldozblue added 14:57 - Aug 10
Ward in a team with Chambers and Skuse would be to some very experienced to others very League One.

Bert added 14:58 - Aug 10
If the club does have a plan A and a plan B that’s good planning. With the state of football in leagues 1&2 a plan C may well be needed.

Cloddyseedbed added 15:32 - Aug 10
Oh god another past it war horse. He's only a quick sprint away from a hamstring injury that will keep him out for months. I say again, do we have any scouts and what the hell are they doing. KVY was found just up the road and the club were told about him 2 years ago. Recruitment by this club is a flaming joke. Dig out some talent of an age that if they get better we have a very saleable asset. ITFC policy is similar to buying an old car thats just got 6 months on it's mot. When it's run out you probably have to scrap it!

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