Date:Wednesday January 19 2011
Talks with Joel Ward about a long-term contract, amidst 'reported' interest from premier league clubs, are underway with it hoped that a new deal - to go with his 2-year contract signed last summer - can be agreed.
Steve Cotterill, talking in The News, had plenty to say about the guy with his 'athleticism' impressing him most of all, which is what he feels has given the Emsworth youngster the chance to 'outshine' the other young talent at the club.
Once again Cotterill admits that Ward was not necessarily someone that he thought had the qualities that he would like - although he has been proven wrong. He would like to see a little more 'aggression' shown from him though: 'in pre-season, I thought "oh dear".
'I thought he was a rabbit in the headlights.
'I wouldn't like it if he took umbrage at this but I think he is starting to become a man.
'He's a really, really nice young boy and we all would like him to stay that way. It's just that I would like him to lose that a little bit when he crosses the white line and be that bit more aggressive.
'When he comes off he can go back into the fantastic young man his parents have brought him up to be because he's a great lad.'
I am glad that Ward has come through and started to really prove himself.
With each game that passes he seems to grow in confidence, and this seems to see him up his game - whatever position he is playing, be that right back, left back or central midfield.
To be honest I still think that his long-term position will be central defence, although whatever this position is lets hope that it is with Pompey!
As a local lad I cannot see him in too much of a hurry to move on, and unless the offer REALLY is too good to refuse, then I would not want us to be in too much of a hurry either.
This, Ward coming through and getting a chance - even if, 'probably' this was out of necessity in the first place - can only be a good thing for Portsmouth Football Club, Joel Ward and other young talent at the club, both local and otherwise, because if youngsters do see that youngsters can come through and get a chance at this club more will be willing to come to Pompey, if given this chance, and maybe not to the club down the road or others.
Bringing through our own is essential to our future, Cotterill giving them the right level of encouragement and chance is as key to this as anything...
PLAY UP POMPEY!
Date:Wednesday January 19 2011
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