Town confirm early departure of experienced defender due to contract clause
- Credit: Steve Waller-www.stephenwaller.c
Left-back Stephen Ward will leave Ipswich Town when his contract expires this summer.
The 50-cap Republic of Ireland international joined the Blues ahead of the current season, following his release from Stoke, and made 31 appearances during his one campaign with the club.
Like midfielder Alan Judge, who has already left the club, Ward had a clause in his contract which would have triggered an extra year should he reach 30 league starts. He leaves now having made his 29th and final start at home to AFC Wimbledon, a game in which he captained the side.
Ward, 35, was not in the squad for either of Town’s last two games but was with the team at Shrewsbury on Tuesday evening.
"Stephen has been an absolute pleasure to work with," Town boss Paul Cook said.
"He conducts himself greatly, he leads by example, and it's no surprise he's had the career he's had.
"Everyone at the Club wishes Stephen all the best for the future and we thank him for his efforts this season."
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It’s likely to be a summer of change at Portman Road, with a long list of players out of contract this summer and the majority likely to be released.
Ipswich Town contracts
McGuinness, Bennetts, Harrop, Parrott, Matheson, Thomas
Chambers, Skuse*, Wilson*, Sears*, Jackson*, Bishop*, Nsiala*, Edwards, Donacien*, Huws, Drinan, Nydam*, El Mizouni*, Morris*, Clements*, Gibbs*, Andoh*, Hughes*
Downes*, Norwood*, Lankester*, Kenlock*, Ndaba*, Holy, Nolan, Cornell*, Hawkins*, McGavin*, Crowe*, Smith*, Simpson*, Crane*, Chirewa*
*known to have a 12-month contract option