Ex-Town defender Ward makes League Two move

Former Ipswich Town defender Stephen Ward has joined Walsall

Former Ipswich Town defender Stephen Ward has joined Walsall - Credit: Walsall FC

Ex-Ipswich Town defender Stephen Ward has joined a League Two club.

The 35-year-old, who played 31 games for Town in his lone season at the club last year, has signed a one-year deal at Walsall.

He'll be reunited there with Saddlers' head coach Matthew Taylor, with whom he played at Burnley.

Left back Ward started last season in impressive form for Ipswich but, like the team, tailed off as the campaign started to crumble.

He was released early by the Blues because of a clause in his contract which would have triggered an extra year should he have reached 30 league starts.

He made his 29th and final start at home to AFC Wimbledon, a game in which he captained the side.

Town boss Paul Cook described him as "an absolute pleasure to work with."

Of his new side, Ward, who won 50 Republic of Ireland caps, said: “It’s exciting.

“I have been in with the lads training for a couple of days now, having a look at the place and I am really impressed with how the head coach is trying to go about his business and his ambition for the season.

Most Read

"I have been really impressed from speaking to the head coach and I am really excited to get going this year.”

Taylor added: “Stephen is someone who I have played with and has huge experience in the game.

“He’s a player that’s played at the top and for him to have a leadership role within the group in terms of what he can offer with his experience and more importantly, what he can offer on the pitch. We’re extremely happy to have someone of Stephen’s quality joining the club.

“The biggest thing for him is he wants to be part of the journey that we’re on at this football club so from my perspective, I’ve always spoken about good people first, followed by a good player and Stephen fits the mould.

“It will be great for other players in the group to learn from him because he’s a fantastic professional and somebody that’s got huge experience domestically and internationally but more importantly, he still wants to be successful and we hope he can help us to do that here.”