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Town Closing in On Ward Signing
Friday, 14th Aug 2020 12:46

TWTD understands Town are closing in on the signing of free agent former Republic of Ireland international left-back Stephen Ward, who we reported yesterday was in contract talks.

While what's believed to be a one-year deal has been agreed with the 34-year-old, there are still aspects of the move which are yet to be tied up. However, it is likely that Ward could be confirmed as a Town player later today.

TWTD revealed yesterday that the Blues are are also in contract talks with keeper David Cornell and striker Oli Hawkins and we understand progress is continuing on both those deals.

Ward, who was released by Stoke at the end of last season, joined up with the squad to train on Monday and has evidently impressed the Town management.

The Dubliner 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.

Elsewhere, former Town loan keeper Will Norris is reportedly close to joining Burnley from Wolves. The 27-year-old spent 2019/20 at Portman Road making 20 appearances.

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boroughblue added 12:54 - Aug 14
5 point plan lads...

love me a 34 year old has been, so glad that 'funds have been made available to buy this young player and develop him' (Evans, 2016)

Welcome Wardy I guess...

ThatMuhrenCross added 12:59 - Aug 14
Defensively we weren't good enough last season. Does an experienced defender with 50 international caps and nearly a decade's worth of experience in the Premier League improve us? Yes, it does. Does it show how far we've fallen? Yes, but that's the reality of it and we have to adapt. He'll be a useful addition no doubt.

Sixto6 added 13:01 - Aug 14
Happy with this and Cornell if we sign them.
Hawkins doesn’t really excite me but I guess he’s a plan B hold up man !
This is where we are Shopping nowadays !
We’ve got the players, PL just needs to get them playing!!!!!!

Suffolkboy added 13:01 - Aug 14
Probably fit as a fiddle, comes with maturity ,knowledge and experience and should prove a very good acquisition : seem to remember we’ve had a number of players in their 30’s who medically and physically ought to be at the peak stamina wise .

Coco added 13:12 - Aug 14
McCarthy - Dyche - Pulis. Should be fit.

ivandeighton added 13:14 - Aug 14
Look at the donkey Keifer Moore now

jabberjackson added 13:19 - Aug 14

I think the key thing Stephen Ward will bring is leadership, and a bit of much needed attitude

SouperJim added 13:25 - Aug 14
Closing in! Phil please can we stick to the understood TWTD transfer lexicon, now I'm totally confused. Is this nearer than "imminent" or further away?

Skip73 added 13:28 - Aug 14
I think he'll be a decent aquisition. Even as back up for Kenlock, who I think he'll replace.

martin587 added 13:31 - Aug 14
Some positive news coming through. If we manage to sign all three men then I for one will be pleased.Ward hopefully will bring stability and maturity to the defense and another solid keeper will push Holy.Hawkins will give us another dimension up front.🤞

OwainG1992 added 13:40 - Aug 14
Very good signing.
We are an ambitious league one team.
This is strong by league one standard.

leroy2488 added 13:43 - Aug 14
Hopefully he will help Kenlock push on, should show the way forwards

Chrisd added 13:54 - Aug 14
Is Ward a better LB option than we currently have at the club? Without doubt yes. He’ll also provide some leadership too, as we lack those on the pitch.

ArnieM added 14:06 - Aug 14
.....and what realistic LB options would these be?

Foreverdon_Blue added 14:09 - Aug 14
This is a good signing as we needed to improve defensively and Luke Garbutt was not the answer at left back - he was much better suited in midfield with that great left foot. Stephen Ward has a lot experience and should do very well at this level.

Len_Brennan added 14:24 - Aug 14
Sorry boroughblue, I don't actually agree with your post, that was an itchy trigger finger up vote I'm afraid.

I do agree with foreverdon blue though, and in an ideal world we would be signed Ward & Garbutt to sort out our left side in a 4-4-2 formation with Garbutt playing in front of Ward & dropping back to cover defensively when Ward pushed forward. Oh well, that's not going to happen, but at least we are strengthening our team/squad in the areas where it is most needed.

runningout added 14:37 - Aug 14
Keiffer Moore was not suited here and would never have worked out. Doesn’t mean to say he will do alright elsewhere

ChrisFelix added 15:00 - Aug 14
Norris to Burnley crazy decision. From his performances for us last season not even Championship standard !!!!

Michael101 added 15:02 - Aug 14
Coco,yes he will be fit after working for them 3.but he won't have learned diddly squat about football.

Marcus added 15:13 - Aug 14
SouperJim - I believe it means "almost imminently pending an actual announcement probably unless another club shows a sudden interest "

SouperJim added 15:18 - Aug 14
That clears it up, thanks

Nobbysnuts added 15:40 - Aug 14
Just noticed he's got a massive hooter!🤥

therein61 added 17:17 - Aug 14
Make him captain if he signs his experience both premiership and internationally makes him a better prospect than the error ridden one we have now.

therein61 added 18:29 - Aug 14
Re your comment "chrisfelix" he will not be(if he gets a game) be behind the sad excuse for a defence he had to deal with last season.

BeattiesBackPocket added 18:54 - Aug 14
I actually think this is a decent signing we definitely need more leaders in the team Which if we’re all honest we don’t have and I’m still not convinced on Kenlock he’s had chances and not really taken it albeit in the championship.

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