Any football fan who has seen Charlton new boy Jamie Ward play before will know that he loves a battle.
The Northern Ireland international prides himself on his work ethic. That tireless work ethic helped Cardiff City to reach the Premier League in May and, when gathering a character reference on him recently, he was described as ‘a gem’ by Bluebirds boss Neil Warnock.
It was Charlton’s Head of Recruitment Steve Gallen who spoke with Warnock – his former colleague at QPR - and Gallen himself labelled Ward as a ‘bundle of energy’.
That enthusiasm was clear for all of the Addicks squad to see on Thursday morning when the Nottingham Forest loanee took part in his first training session.
Ward, 32, also boasts an impressive scoring record against the Addicks, particularly at The Valley. He has notched four goals in SE7 – all of which came in the colours of Derby County – but now he is eyeing success in the red of Charlton. First he has another battle to win, though.
“We’ve got very good front players in the group so it will be a battle for places,” Ward told Valley Pass. “People should take that into their game and hopefully it will make them perform better.
“My job is to score goals for Charlton and that’s the plan. If I don’t score then I want to assist the forwards and the other players. Obviously, I’d love to go and score on Saturday and hit the ground running.
“Hopefully there will be plenty of goals, but the most important thing is the team and the team doing really well. At the end of the day, I want to play football and as long as I stay injury free then hopefully that can be the case here, as long as I’m performing.”
Despite having only trained once with his new Charlton teammates, Ward – who was in attendance for the victory at Southend United earlier this month - has been impressed with what he seen so far.
And when speaking about his teammates, that ‘b’ word again came to mind for him.
Ward said: “These lads battle, we’ve got a lot of pace and power up top, so if in doubt I’ll clip it in behind and let them chase it. They play some good football and that’s good to see.
“The most important thing is to play football and get out of the league as well you can and as quickly as you can. I’m sure if we keep playing like that and getting the end product then we will be okay.”
Ward boasts 34 caps for Northern Ireland, the most recent of which was picked up against Bosnia & Herzegovina last week, and another member of Michael O’Neill’s squad was of course ex-Addick Josh Magennis.
Prior to switching the City Ground for The Valley, Ward picked up the phone and got in contact with Charlton’s former number nine.
He said: “I spoke to Josh when I got news of the potential loan move and he didn’t have a bad thing to say about the place. He loved his time here.
“It always helps when someone knows the club inside out and knows the lads, it settled me when signing here.”
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