Joel Ward's bittersweet joy
It is always good when a youngster comes through the ranks to feature in the 1st team, what is even more enjoyable is when the kid coming through is a local one like Joel Ward.
The next thing that you look for is for this youngster, local or not, to score for the club and the 20-year-old notched his first goal for us at the weekend - sadly this came in defeat...
Ward was 'delighted' with the goal that was a 'dream come true' for him: 'I was delighted with the goal. I'm just thankful I was in the right place at the right time.
'Pompey are my home club so it was a memorable goal for me. It's a dream to score and was a great feeling but it's a shame we couldn't go on to win the game.'
This goal, which was dedicated to a friend of his - Matt Collino - who is currently in hospital with meningitis, got us back into the game and at that point you felt, well at least I did, that we would go on and get the equaliser, and when this came the winner. But it was not meant to be...
It did seem a bit 'scrappy' but as he said 'they all count' and all the record books care about, and show, will be his name: 'that one was a bit of a mess but they all count and I thought we would go on to win the game. We had the momentum with us but they got the goal.'
Ahead of the game, when talking in the forum, I suggested that 'perhaps' Ward could be used as a right sided midfielder ahead of Greg Halford - although this was unlikely to happen.
This is what actually happened at half time and the defender by trade enjoyed this, most of all he is just happy to be playing: 'I enjoyed it. It gave me a license to get forward, get in the box and have an impact on the game.
'At the start of the season you set out to play as many games as you can. Thankfully I've been able to play a lot and hopefully I can keep on progressing and developing as a player.'
To be fair I cannot knock the guy, the undoubted passion, desire and commitment was there - this was clear to see with his tireless effort evident from my seat in the North Lower - and he had a actually played well in the role too.
More of this Joel and it WILL, or at least should, set you on the right path to having a good career, and hopefully a long one with us where you are a regular.
Now, if only Matty Ritchie could get a look-in, as I have little doubt we would see the same level of passion, commitment, desire and will to want to win and succeed for his hometown club shown by him too...
PLAY UP POMPEY!
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