Charlton Athletic are delighted to welcome Jamie Ward to The Valley on loan from Nottingham Forest until Monday, January 1st 2019.
The Northern Ireland international, who has played the last decade in the Championship, is Lee Bowyer’s sixth and final signing of the summer transfer window.
The winger, who can also play up front, follows Lyle Taylor, Darren Pratley, Jed Steer, Krystian Bielik and Josh Cullen through the door at The Valley.
Charlton caretaker boss Lee Bowyer said: "I’m delighted. Jamie is another great addition to the squad. He brings experience, which we need to balance it up with the young squad that we’ve got. He’s a good player who can play out wide, either wing, behind the strikers, anywhere up the top. He’s an explosive player who is going to make chances for our forwards.
“We’ve had to be patient, which I said we would do, to bring in the quality that we have. I think it was definitely worth waiting for. We’ve got a lot of Championship players there and Jamie has now added to the experience with that.”
Ward himself is excited to be playing at a ground where he has had a lot of success. He said: “I’m obviously delighted. It’s a big opportunity for me to join a club I’ve always enjoyed playing against. It’s an important time for myself to get games under my belt and hopefully help Charlton go in the right direction and push up the league.
“I scored a few times at The Valley. I scored a penalty in one game, I’ve scored two in another game and I’ve scored a free kick in another game, so I’ve always had good times when I’ve been there with other teams so hopefully those good times will carry on with my goalscoring record at the ground."
Addicks Head of Recruitment Steve Gallen said: “Jamie is a bundle of energy. Great enthusiasm, great attitude. I’ve known him for years as he’s been playing at a high level so I think a lot of us are aware of him but I rang Neil Warnock today who had him at Cardiff at the end of last season. His exact words were ‘He’s a gem, great attitude, great lad, will work hard for ya’. What we see him bringing to the team is that he can play in a few different positions, his running is the main thing, his enthusiasm, he wants to get at players and run in behind teams. We think he’ll get some assists for us and we think we’ll get some goals from him.
“I think he’ll be a fans' favourite and he’ll certainly be a players' favourite because his attitude is top drawer and his professionalism as well. The fans will love his attitude and his energy.”
The 32-year-old started his career at Aston Villa, played for Stockport County (loan), Torquay United and Chesterfield before earning a move to then Championship side Sheffield United. He played 63 games for the Blades which was followed by an impressive loan spell at Derby County in 2011 to help keep the Rams in the division. The loan spell earned him a permanent move and he went on to play 125 times for Derby, scoring 29 goals. In 2015 he joined Nottingham Forest, where he has played a total of 57 games and had a loan spell at Burton Albion. Last season Ward played eight times for Forest and made four appearances on loan as part of Cardiff City’s promotion campaign.
Ward has 33 international caps to his name and he was a part of the Northern Ireland squad that competed at Euro 2016. His four international goals have been against Portugal (2013), Greece (2014), San Marino (2016) and Norway (2017).
Interviews with Bowyer and Gallen will be available on Valley Pass over the weekend.