Impressive Ward in trophy hunt

Joel Ward in action against Burnley
Joel Ward in action against Burnley
Dion Donohue. Picture: Colin Farmery

New boy’s bitter-sweet Pompey experience

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Joel Ward has already fired the opening shots in the Pompey player of the season hunt.

Now the versatile youngster is gunning for many more trophies to accompany his London Supporters’ Club accolade.

That is if his bedroom can manage to accommodate them all.

The 21-year-old Emsworth ace has enjoyed an outstanding maiden first-team season at Fratton Park.

His versatility, energy and enthusiasm have seen him rack up an impressive 44 appearances and three goals.

That approach to his Blues career has also won Ward the London Supporters’ Club’s player of the season award.

The home-grown ace was presented with his prize on the Fratton Park pitch before last weekend’s clash with Preston.

What’s more, Ward is firmly in the running to add to that tally with plenty of other supporters’ trophies up for grabs,

Voting for The News/Sports Mail Player of the Season closes at midnight tonight, with the result to be revealed at the bank holiday Monday fixture with Norwich.

There are a host of other supporters’ trophies up for grabs, including Chichester, Central Branch, Northern Blues, Clan Pompey and the Isle of Wight.

For Ward, it is the first time in his fledgling career he has scooped an award at any level.

It means he now has some silverware for his mantelpiece. Or rather his bedroom at the Emsworth home of his parents where he still lives.

Ward said: It’s brilliant getting this sort of award, amazing.

‘It has been a big season for myself after my pre-season wasn’t great and building on that through the season.

‘Personally, it has been a great season and I just want to thank the fans for their support and voting for me.

‘Hopefully I can carry on and keep going, keep progressing and keep moving forward.

‘I have never won anything like this before or been involved in anything like this before.

‘And considering it is my first season of competitive football in this league, it’s a real honour.

‘This trophy will be on the side in my bedroom. I still live at home with my parents in Emsworth.

‘I stay there and mum does the washing and cleaning – I come from a good home!

‘It’s a great feeling to receive recognition of what I have done this season and I want to make sure I keep on doing that and keep on pushing forward and getting more.’

Last term, Jamie O’Hara scooped a staggering 10 player of the season trophies, including the London Supporters’ Club’s.

The midfielder was presented with them all on the pitch at half-time against Wolves last season, the final home match of the campaign.

Back in 2009, it was Glen Johnson who was the overwhelming winner.

The England right-back claimed 15 trophies in addition to being named in the PFA’s team of the season.

A move to Liverpool soon followed and he has since established himself as Fabio Capello’s preferred right-back.

The previous two campaigns saw David James as the overwhelming victor in recognition of his outstanding and consistent displays.

He scooped The News/Sports Mail player of the season title as well as many other supporter groups awards.

Now Ward is aiming to join that elite band.

He added: ‘I just want to make sure I keep my head down and keep working hard and I get recognised for that.

‘I want to show I can play in this league.

‘And hopefully the fans can support me and keep me driving forward.’