Ward predicts bright future for brightest star

ANTHONY Wordsworth has started this season with a bang, to such an extent that his manager John Ward would not be surprised if a few bigger clubs started plotting his progress.

ANTHONY Wordsworth has started this season with a bang, to such an extent that his manager John Ward would not be surprised if a few bigger clubs started plotting his progress.

Wordsworth, despite playing in central midfield, is up to second in the League One goal-scoring charts after eight games.

Only Gary Madine, a 21-year-old striker at Sheffield Wednesday, has scored more goals (six) in this division. Charlton’s Bradley Wright-Phillips is level with Wordsworth on five.

Ward believes that Wordsworth could be destined for a bright future, if he continues to shine in League One.


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“It might end up being a springboard for him,” insisted Ward on the eve of today’s visit to Bramall Lane.

“Three or four of our players have gone into the Championship, and a couple of them into the Premier League with Norwich, and now there is an opportunity for Anthony to get himself in the spotlight.

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“We had our moments last year, and I chatted with him about bits and pieces. A year ago, pre-season was not so good for him, but this season he came back in great shape.

“He’s a good lad and he enjoys his new role (in a more central midfield role).

“He always wanted to stay with us and he signed a new two-year deal at the end of last season.

“But I’m not going to sit down after just three or four months and offer him another new deal!” added Ward, with a wry smile.

A product of the U’s youth system, Wordsworth spent most of last season on the left flank, rather than in a central role.

He struggled for goals in that position, mustering just five in 41 senior appearances, and that included a brace in the opening day 2-2 draw at Exeter City.

Wordsworth, 22, who scored his fifth goal of last season at the start of January, did not hit the target again until the opening day 4-2 win at Preston.

He has now scored 24 career league goals, and so will be hoping later this season to become only the 30th Colchester United player to have scored 30 or more league goals in the Essex club’s history.

Ex-U’s striker Kevin Lisbie, who ironically played against his old club for Leyton Orient last weekend, is 29th in the all-time U’s league goal-scoring charts with 30 goals.

Wordsworth, like the rest of the U’s team, will not be over-awed by today’s big test at Bramall Lane.

Manager John Ward insisted: “Sheffield United might be a bit apprehensive, having lost in midweek, especially if we can get the first goal.

“We won’t have any trepidation about the trip. I certainly don’t mind getting onto the team bus this season!”

Last term, the U’s lost 12 of their 23 away league games and only won four times on the road.

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