Joel Ward (footballer)

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Joel Ward
Joel Ward 2012.jpg
Ward playing for Crystal Palace in July 2012
Personal information
Full name Joel Edward Philip Ward[1]
Date of birth (1989-10-29) 29 October 1989 (age 26)
Place of birth Emsworth, England[2]
Height 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)[3]
Playing position Defender / Defensive midfielder
Club information
Current team
Crystal Palace
Number 2
Youth career
1998–2006 East Lodge F.C.[4]
2006–2008 Portsmouth
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2008–2012 Portsmouth 90 (6)
2008–2009 Bournemouth (loan) 21 (1)
2012– Crystal Palace 134 (3)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 17:09, 24 September 2016 (UTC).


Joel Edward Philip Ward (born 29 October 1989) is an English footballer who plays as a defender for Premier League club Crystal Palace. His natural position is right-back but he can also play at centre-back, and in midfield.

Club career[edit]

Portsmouth[edit]

Ward playing for Portsmouth in 2009

Ward started his footballing career with local youth team East Lodge F.C.[4] and signed a professional contract with Portsmouth in July 2008 after spending two years in the Academy and Reserves.[5][6]

Bournemouth (loan)[edit]

The following month, he signed a one-year loan deal with Bournemouth to gain first team experience.[7] Ward soon made his debut in a League Cup match against Cardiff City on 12 August, playing the full 90 minutes as Cardiff ran out 2–1 winners.[8] His League Two debut came later that week on 16 August 2008 in an away draw with Aldershot Town.[9] As the season progressed, Ward continued to appear in defence for the Cherries and he gained the first yellow and red cards of his career on 18 October in a 4–1 away defeat to Shrewsbury Town, eventually being sent off for two bookable offences.[10] However, his form meant that he returned to the side soon afterwards, making his Football League Trophy and FA Cup debuts: a home defeat by Colchester United and a home win against Bristol Rovers on 4 and 8 November respectively.[11][12] He scored his first and only Bournemouth goal in a 4–0 win over Morecambe on 2 May 2009.[13]

Return to Portsmouth[edit]

On 26 August 2009, Ward made his Portsmouth debut as a centre-back against Hereford United in the League Cup, before making his Premier League debut on 14 April 2010 against Wigan Athletic, playing from start to finish at left-back as the game finished goalless. Ward played in most of Pompey's remaining league matches that season and remained at Fratton Park in the summer even after they were relegated to the Championship. He began the new season as first-choice right-back, but later lost his starting berth to Wolverhampton Wanderers loanee Greg Halford. Ward scored his first Portsmouth goal in a 3–2 defeat to Doncaster Rovers on 13 November 2010.[14]

Starting with their 2–0 away victory over Doncaster Rovers on 12 February 2011, a game in which he scored, Ward played as an attacking midfielder in Portsmouth's new 4-2-3-1 formation and earned praise from manager Steve Cotterill who was quoted as saying: "Joel Ward has got great energy and did well in that role in the centre in midfield in behind the striker."[15][16] On 18 December 2011, Ward scored the equaliser in the South Coast derby against Southampton which finished 1–1.[17]

Crystal Palace[edit]

On 28 May 2012, Ward completed his move to Crystal Palace for £400,000 on a four-year deal.[18] He made his debut on 14 August 2012, in a 2–1 win against Exeter City in the League Cup.[19] He made his league debut four days later in a home game against Watford.[20] He won promotion with Crystal Palace after clearing a shot off the line during the last minute of injury time against the same opponents in the 2013 Championship play-off final.[21] Ward finally scored his first goal for Crystal Palace in a 3–1 home win against Queens Park Rangers on 14 March 2015.[22]

On 15 April 2015, Ward signed a new three-and-a-half year contract, keeping him at the Selhurst Park side until the summer of 2018.[23] As of May 2016, Ward currently holds the record for most Premier League appearances for a Crystal Palace player. He reached the hundred milestone in a 1–1 draw away to Arsenal on 17 April 2016.[24]

Career statistics[edit]

As of 24 September 2016.[25]
Club Season League FA Cup League Cup Other[nb 1] Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Portsmouth 2008–09 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Bournemouth (loan) 2008–09 21 1 2 0 1 0 1 0 25 1
Total 21 1 2 0 1 0 1 0 25 1
Portsmouth 2009–10 3 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 4 0
2010–11 42 3 1 0 3 0 0 0 46 3
2011–12 44 3 1 0 1 0 0 0 46 3
Total 89 6 2 0 5 0 0 0 96 6
Crystal Palace 2012–13 25 0 0 0 2 0 3 0 30 0
2013–14 36 0 0 0 0 0 36 0
2014–15 37 1 3 0 0 0 40 1
2015–16 30 2 6 1 2 0 38 3
2016–17 6 0 0 0 1 0 7 0
Total 134 3 9 1 5 0 3 0 151 4
Career total 244 10 13 1 11 0 4 0 272 11
  1. ^ Includes appearances in Football League Trophy and Football League play-offs

Personal life[edit]

Ward is currently involved with helping and supporting local charity Faith and Football, which was set up by former Pompey defender Linvoy Primus.[26][27] He attended the Bourne Community College in Southbourne and Bishop Luffa School in Chichester. He is also a Christian and kneels down on the pitch to pray before each match.[28] On 20 April 2014, Ward returned to his home church for an interview about how he brings his Christian faith to his job as a footballer.[29] He currently resides in London.

Position versatility[edit]

Ward operated mainly as a central defender at the start of his professional career.[30] He proved his versatility in the 2010–11 season with Steve Cotterill deploying him as a right-back at the start of the season, [31] and also played him as a central midfielder,[32] right midfielder[33] and as an attacking midfielder.[34]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "List of Players under Written Contract Registered Between 01/07/2010 and 31/07/2010" (PDF). The Football Association. Retrieved 21 August 2010. 
  2. ^ Rollin, Glenda; Rollin, Jack, eds. (2012). Sky Sports Football Yearbook 2012–2013 (43rd ed.). London: Headline. p. 515. ISBN 978-0-7553-6356-8. 
  3. ^ "Joel Ward Crystal Palace F.C. Profile". Crystal Palace FC. 2014. Retrieved 13 December 2014. 
  4. ^ a b "Ten facts about FA Cup finallist Joel Ward". The News. 21 May 2016. Retrieved 11 August 2016. 
  5. ^ "Academy Influx Excites Woan". Portsmouth FC. 1 July 2008. Archived from the original on 31 August 2009. Retrieved 13 August 2008. 
  6. ^ "Hart Swoops for Rushden Pair". Portsmouth FC. 4 July 2004. Archived from the original on 31 August 2009. Retrieved 13 August 2008. 
  7. ^ "Ward Completes Cherries Loan Move". BBC Sport. 7 August 2008. Retrieved 13 August 2008. 
  8. ^ "Bournemouth 1–2 Cardiff". BBC Sport. 12 August 2008. Retrieved 13 August 2008. 
  9. ^ "Aldershot 1–1 Bournemouth". BBC Sport. 16 August 2008. Retrieved 16 August 2008. 
  10. ^ "Shrewsbury 4–1 Bournemouth". BBC Sport. 18 October 2008. Retrieved 11 November 2008. 
  11. ^ "Bournemouth 0–1 Colchester". BBC Sport. 4 November 2008. Retrieved 11 November 2008. 
  12. ^ "Bournemouth 1–0 Bristol Rovers". BBC Sport. 8 November 2008. Retrieved 11 November 2008. 
  13. ^ "Morecambe 0–4 Bournemouth". BBC Sport. 2 May 2009. Retrieved 10 March 2010. 
  14. ^ "Portsmouth 2–3 Doncaster". BBC Sport. 13 November 2010. Retrieved 13 November 2010. 
  15. ^ "Cotterill's Donny Delight". Portsmouth FC. 12 February 2011. Archived from the original on 14 February 2011. 
  16. ^ Football-Lineups.com (Portsmouth Championship lineups from 19 February to 8 March 2011)
  17. ^ "Portsmouth 1–1 Southampton". BBC Sport. 18 December 2011. Retrieved 11 August 2016. 
  18. ^ "Ward joins Crystal Palace". Portsmouth FC. 28 May 2012. Archived from the original on 30 May 2012. 
  19. ^ "Exeter 1–2 Crystal Palace" BBC Sport. 14 August 2012. Retrieved 2 October 2012.
  20. ^ "Crystal Palace 2–3 Watford" BBC Sport. 18 August 2012. Retrieved 2 October 2012.
  21. ^ "Crystal Palace 1–0 Watford (aet)" BBC Sport. 27 May 2013. Retrieved 16 July 2013.
  22. ^ "Crystal Palace 3–1 QPR" BBC Sport. 14 March 2015. Retrieved 15 March 2015.
  23. ^ "Crystal Palace defender Joel Ward signs contract extension to 2018". The Guardian. 15 April 2015. Retrieved 11 August 2016. 
  24. ^ "Ward Delighted With Palace Century". Crystal Palace FC. 17 April 2016. Retrieved 11 August 2016. 
  25. ^ Joel Ward career statistics at Soccerbase
  26. ^ "My Story - Joel Ward". faithandfootball.org.uk. Retrieved 11 August 2016. 
  27. ^ "China Challenge". BBC. 20 May 2005. Archived from the original on 11 November 2012. 
  28. ^ McLeman, Neil (22 April 2016). "Crystal Palace defender Joel Ward combining faith and football as he eyes FA Cup glory". Irish Mirror. Retrieved 11 August 2016. 
  29. ^ "Easter Sunday Interview with Joel Ward". New Life Christian Church. 20 April 2014. 
  30. ^ Football Lineups – Portsmouth vs Hereford United
  31. ^ Football Lineups – Stevenage vs Portsmouth
  32. ^ Football Lineups – Watford vs Portsmouth
  33. ^ Football Lineups – Leeds United vs Portsmouth
  34. ^ Football Lineups – Portsmouth vs Norwich City

External links[edit]