Stephen Ward Joins Walsall In Sky Bet League Two
Walsall Football Club have today confirmed the signing of former Republic of Ireland International defender Stephen Ward on a one-year contract. The thirty-five year old former Wolverhampton Wanderers, Brighton Hove Albion, Burnley and Stoke City left back will return to play in the Midlands after spending last season with Sky Bet League One side Ipswich Town in Suffolk.
Dublin-born Ward was first brought over to English football from Irish club Bohemians by Wolves boss Mick McCarthy in January 2007. Originally signed as a striker, he converted to left-back, after which he went on to help Wolves win promotion to the Premier League in 2009. After a season at Brighton, Ward signed for Burnley and, after being relegated, he won promotion back to the top flight with Burnley in 2016.
He left for a season with Stoke City, before moving on to Paul Lambert’s Ipswich Town last season. He won the first of his fifty Republic of Ireland caps in 20111, going to represent them at the European Championships in 2012 & 2016. Ward becomes the seventh summer signing for the saddlers as manager Matthew Taylor looks to strengthen the team.
Speaking about the signing manager Matthew Taylor said, “Stephen Ward is someone I have played with as a team mate at Burnley Football Club and he has a huge experience. We’re extremely happy to have someone of Stephen’s quality joining the club. He is a player that’s played at the top. It will be great for other players in the group to learn from 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. “
Stephen Ward follows the arrival of Leyton Orient striker Conor Wilkinson, Newport County midfielder Joss Labadie and Tranmere Rovers defender Manny Monthe, FC Halifax Town midfielder Jack Earing, Harrogate Town winger Brendan Kiernan and Aberdeen defender Ash Taylor.