Date:Friday October 22 2010
'Joel Ward's next move will be as a squad player with Pompey', not my vote, yours - although these findings from pompeyrug's poll are thoughts that I think, at this point in time, I would agree with to be honest and do 'hope' remain the case...
Joel has been on the fringes of the squad for the past 12-18-months now, although he 'looked' as though he had finally made the breakthrough to being a regular 1st team performer now.
I have to say that I had always felt that he had the attributes to be a very good central defender and did not think he was quite suited to play at right back but he had certainly grown into the role and was getting better all the time, which meant he was unfortunate to go straight out of the side as soon as Steve Cotterill could bring in a replacement, as has happened with the arrival of Greg Halford.
Halford is a recognised right back and his ability 'should' enable Liam Lawrence's quality to be used to an even greater level, so in some ways you can see why Cotterill was so keen to bring in a specialised right back - and to be fair he is a decent footballer.
Ward, for me, does - or at least 'should' - have a long-term future with the club, Cotterill said it would be as a right back, and perhaps it will be. I just hope that he is retained as part of the 1st team for the remainder of the season and given a fair chance...
I have said it before, but will say it again, the likes of the Joel Ward's - and the locals like Matty Ritchie's, Marlon Pack's and Pete Gregory's who we bring through ourselves along with overseas youngsters like Nadir Ciftci, who we nurture from a young age - are our future so we MUST treat them right as it is essential that we bring through our own players as the financial benefits, and savings not to mention possible rewards, of doing this cannot be understated.
So, a squad player this season would be fair enough - as his development continues - although we MUST get him tied down to a long-term contract and give him that platform to be one of the first names on the teamsheet next season and beyond...
Date:Friday October 22 2010
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