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Town in Talks With Ward
Thursday, 13th Aug 2020 13:10

TWTD understands Town are in talks with former Republic of Ireland international left-back Stephen Ward about joining the club.

The 34-year-old free agent appears to have impressed the Blues management since starting training at Playford Road on Monday having left Stoke City at the end of 2019/20. If a deal is agreed, Ward will become Town’s first senior addition of the summer.

Ward started his career with hometown club Bohemians before joining Wolves, at the time 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.

Given Town’s limited scope for additions within the salary cap, Ward signing would end the Blues’ interest in bringing former loanee Luke Garbutt back to Portman Road on a permanent basis.

Photo: Action Images

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Nobbysnuts added 13:18 - Aug 13
we will be signing captain tom next after his heroics in his garden. Get in there quick Mr lambert. 🤭

Sixto6 added 13:18 - Aug 13
I think he would be a good signing! We need a good experienced head in the back 4.

Saxonblue74 added 13:27 - Aug 13
Could work for us, we need a quick fix to get out of this league.

blues1 added 13:28 - Aug 13
Nobbysnuts. Arent you someone who in the past 3 years has said we should resign murphy? Apologise if I'm wrong there. Yet you think Ward is too old? I agree we need to play younger players, and I'm sure we will have to this season. But you still need some older heads in the team. Ward would be a good signing, I think. Certainly better than having Kenlock in the team.

Bergholt_Blue added 13:31 - Aug 13
1 year contract with option of another if we go up

planetblue_2011 added 13:49 - Aug 13
No brainer for me bags of experience & a very good footballer. Don’t care how old he is as long as he can help us get promoted, that’s all what matters.

SouperJim added 13:49 - Aug 13
Cue lots of wailing and gnashing of teeth from those who think we should somehow be able to get Garbutt to sign for £2 a week

aas1010 added 14:03 - Aug 13
I agree just a tad too old , 25-28 just right .

SaigonTractor added 14:03 - Aug 13
This would be a top signing for League 1, despite his age. Obviously not one for the future, but it's vital we get promoted this year and Ward can help solidify our defence.


ChrisFelix added 14:04 - Aug 13
Our record of signing old boys not good. Remember Scales, Taylor & the Icelandic defender from Reading

timkatieadamitfc added 14:09 - Aug 13
No brainer, can’t believe anyone moaning at this, as much as I’d love Garbutt to sign for us he clearly isn’t going to so we’ll take someone with bags of experience and 34 isn’t old for a l/b.
Still need a decent partner for Woolfenden and I’d be happy with that as long as we keep everyone else. Even up front a fully fit Norwood this year, Sears played in his favourite position ffs, Jackson, Lankester will be back soon and a couple of youngsters coming through we should be ok up front.
It’s always been for god knows how long now the defence which has let us down, we never look like or even capable of keeping a clean sheet, get this sorted and I think we’ll be good for play offs at worst(providing Lambert ditches unnecessary/ridiculous/ brain dead rotation policy).
ps how sh@t is it going to be not being able to get down to pr for the foreseable future

TimboLimbo added 14:11 - Aug 13
Great signing if we can get him on low wages. Just hoping we can bring in one or two more additions under the cap (preferably a target man) and we’ll be set! Bring on the season!

martin587 added 14:31 - Aug 13
Good solid player with plenty of experience is just what we need at LB.Just hope he signs.🤞

ArnieM added 14:36 - Aug 13
I’d say this is a very good acquisition at this level and for now . We need experience at the back, we could do with an experienced but younger than mid 30’s CB too. Add a big lump of a striker To that and I’d say we has enough a squad good enough to get promoted .

Counagoal added 14:39 - Aug 13
Think this could be perfect, and not as an alternative to Garbutt either. Ward could play on the left side of a back three with garbutt and KVY wing backs and could also play full back and perhaps push garbutt further forward. Either way I think he would be great left CB in our 3 ATB system

MickMillsTash added 14:45 - Aug 13
Sound good, gives us options
Whats his injury record like ?
According to Wikipedia he has played 27 games in the last 2 years

BaddowBlue1 added 14:51 - Aug 13
I think this is a good acquisition and will probably mean we have enough in the budget to get 1 or 2 more players in to cover Centre back and Centre Forward.

Fatboy added 14:52 - Aug 13
This would be a good addition to our back line and, if I'm not mistaken, would be our only player with Premier League experience. I just hope that he's over the calf injury that kept him out for the last four months of last season.

I don't agree that it has been our defence that has let us down, @timkatieadamitfc. Last season, of the top six teams only Coventry conceded fewer goals. More of a concern was failing to score in six of our last nine games. Hopefully Bishop, Dozzell and Dobra will step up to the plate to support Downes this season and provide a decent service for a fully-fit front line.

Steve_ITFC_Sweden added 14:53 - Aug 13
Garbutt's gone, so this seems a sensible proactive move. Ability is not in doubt. Let's just hope he can stay FIT!

timkatieadamitfc added 15:03 - Aug 13
Fair point Fatboy, but in our last 23 games in all comps we kept 3 clean sheets

dirtydingusmagee added 15:05 - Aug 13
Fatboy unfortunately Bishop is a player you cant rely on , he is one of those players who are dogged by fitness problems, and will continue to be sadly IMO ,Dozzell blows hot and cold, as far as Dobra is concerened i think he has it in him just needs to be fit and grab his chance .

Linkboy13 added 15:10 - Aug 13
Age doesn't come into it he's been training with the squad so if his fitness levels are good he's worth signing. All signings have some sort of risk .

BlueandTruesince82 added 15:11 - Aug 13
If he still has the legs and can read the game his age doesn't bother me.

Naivety cost us a few times last season.. Suspect Garbutt has said he's going elsewhere if we are looking to get this done.

Age is number only and players are fitter then they have ever been before.


KernewekBlue added 15:31 - Aug 13
A decent addition. certainly at League 1 level.

The problem going forward will be attracting enough worthy talent to get promoted given the new salary cap.

This salary cap will see an even bigger gulf emerge between this division and the top two.

A sad state of affairs for Town and all the other clubs involved in League 1.

Len_Brennan added 15:43 - Aug 13
Given that neither ourselves nor Sunderland have the means to sign Garbutt now, with the salary restrictions, this could prove to be an excellent move by the club. We have to be ambitious enough to think we can get out of League 1 this year, after which a longer term solution to our left back issue can be pursued. The reality is we need to get someone in now & we don't really have time to suffer any growing pains in the back four over the first half of the season; Ward has bags of experience & will bring a bit of leadership to that side of the pitch. He is also an attack minded full back, with a good delivery, so should add assists and some goals to the mix.
Stoke played with 3 centre backs & advanced/midfield wing backs for quite a few games last season, which would have impacted on the number of games he played. He was also playing in the Premier League just 2 years ago, so he has plenty to offer still.

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