Grant Ward plans to get Ipswich Town fans off their seats

New Ipswich Town signing Grant Ward.

New Ipswich Town signing Grant Ward.

Ipswich Town new boy Grant Ward plans to get fans off their seats at Portman Road this season.

The 21-year-old arrived from Tottenham Hotspur for a fee of around £600k on Monday and could go straight into the team for Saturday’s Championship home opener against Barnsley.

A versatile attacking midfielder, Ward spent the entirety of last season on loan in the second-tier at Rotherham and played a key role in their great escape under manager Neil Warnock, making 43 appearances and scooping both the ‘Young Player of the Season’ and ‘Goal of the Season’ awards.

And with spectators starved of entertainment on Suffolk soil during the second half of last season, the new arrival’s description of his game will be music to Blues fans’ ears.

When it was put to him that Town supporters craved an exciting player to watch, he replied: “Hopefully I’ll be able to do that because that is my game.

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“You could say I’m an exciting player. I like to get people off their seats.

“I can play in a variety of positions – if you want me in the centre or the wing. As long as I’m playing and getting the ball I’m not fussed.

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“I’m very quick and athletic, box-to-box, I like to take people on.”

On his super strike against Burnley, he added: “Every now and then I pull one of those worldies out, but I don’t care how I score – if I got 10 tap-ins I’d be happy with that.”

London-born Ward joined Spurs at the age of 10 but didn’t make the first-team breakthrough and, even though he signed a new two-year deal at White Hart Lane earlier this year, he felt it was time to move on following previous loan spells at MLS side Chicago Fire (2014) and League One outfit Coventry City (2015).

A number of Championship clubs had chased his signature, but Mick McCarthy’s long-standing interest was what persuaded him to head to Portman Road.

“I heard about the Ipswich interest a little while ago, but I had a little injury (calf strain) and was just trying to get fit,” Ward added.

“I went away with the Tottenham reserves to France and when I was out there I heard the deal was done and I had to shoot off.

“It was flattering that a manager of Mick McCarthy’s experience had been so eager to bring me in.

“I’d been at Tottenham a long time, but I wasn’t getting to where I wanted to be so I thought it was best to move on and create a career for myself.

“Ipswich seemed like the perfect opportunity to do that. Obviously this is a club with a great history, the manager is very experienced and there are some great players here. I think this is a great opportunity for me.

“I’ve signed a three-year contract and the hope is that we can make the Premier League in that time. I’ve only been here two days, but looking at how good my team-mates are I definitely think we should be aiming for play-offs, minimum, this season.”

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