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Elliott Ward

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Norwich Career: 2010-13 (55 appearances, 1 goal)
Current Club: Colchester United (Under-18s coach)
Date of Birth: 19/01/1985 (Harrow, London) 
Nationality: English


Former West Ham defender Elliott Ward became Paul Lambert's second signing of the 2010 pre-season when he agreed to join Norwich on a two year contract from Coventry City on a free transfer. The deal was announced on 26th May 2010 and will be completed on July 1st 2010

After being at Watford from Under-12 to Under-14, Ward came through the youth ranks at West Ham United and made 21 appearances in all competitions for the Hammers and had loan spells at Bristol Rovers and Plymouth Argyle in July and December 2004 respectively.

The Harrow-born centre-back moved to Coventry City £1 million in June 2006, becoming their first million pound player for five years.

The 25-year-old captained Coventry and became their penalty taker during his time at the Ricoh Arena, where he made 126 appearances, scoring 16 goals. During 2009/10 Ward spent time on loan at Doncaster Rovers and Preston North End.

Norwich City boss Paul Lambert told the club's official website: "He's played at a higher level and in big games for West Ham and has good experience of the Championship. He's a good age, has stature and presence at the back and comes with good pedigree and he'll hopefully do well with us."

He made his City debut in the 3-2 home defeat to Watford on 6th August 2010. The season improved and ended with Norwich winning promotion to the Premiership with a 1-0 win over Portsmouth on 2nd May 2011. Ward made 41 appearances, scoring once.

Ward missed a large part of the Premiership season through injury and ended the season with just 13 appearances.

Injured at the beginning of the 2012/13 pre-season, he was omitted from Chris Hughton's 25 man Premier League squad. He was then the subject of a loan bid from Bristol City in early September 2012 but personal terms could not be agreed.

On 26th October 2012, Ward was loaned to Notts Forest until 29th December 2012 with view to a permanent deal. Injuries to Forest defenders Daniel Ayala and Sam Hutchinson forced the Forest manager into the loan market. "We are little bit light defensively and Elliott gives us flexibility," said Sean O'Driscoll to BBC Radio Nottingham. "Ayala may be out for up to three weeks with a hamstring injury and Hutchinson is having tests on a knee problem. We were always lacking a defender from the start of the season. Elliott is flexible. He can play left-sided or right-sided in a four. I had him at Doncaster so know his character. He did really well for me. He has been part of a promotion-winning team at Norwich so has that mentality and knows what it takes in the Championship. He has expressed his desire to come when he had one or two other options, but there are no guarantees. He will fit into the group well character-wise, he was available and there is the possibility we could sign him on a permanent basis. There are lots of things that fitted together and now he has to prove it on the pitch."

Ward made 12 Championship appearances for Forest during the two-and-a-half month loan spell. New Forest manager Alex McLeish revealed on 7th January 2013 that he wants to bring Ward back to Nottingham Forest. McLeish said: “We are looking at Ward. That is a situation that is on-going. We are talking to Norwich about that one. We want to get him back, it is possible, but it depends on the kind of deal that can be done. We are probably looking at another loan, just so I can have a look at him, perhaps with a view to making it more permanent beyond that.” On 11th January 2013, Ward rejoined Forest on loan until the end of the season and scored on 12th January. He made 31 appearances for Forest, scoring three goals.

On 20th May 2013, Norwich announced that they would not be renewing the contracts of Ward and nine other players when they expired at the end of June 2013. He had made 55 appearances for City.

Ward signed a one year deal with Bournemotuh on 18th June 2013. "We believe in him as a player and a person. He ticks all the boxes for us," said boss Eddie Howe. "He is a really good athlete, he's excellent in both boxes and he's a real physical presence. Not only that but he is also technically an excellent footballer, which fits in with our philosophy and how we want to play out from the back and how we want our defence to be able to handle the ball. He is a leader as well, he's experienced and he knows the division, so for all those aspects I think he's a really important signing for us."

Although Ward did not make many appearances in the 2014/15 season, he was part of the Bournemouth squad that won promotion to the Premer League (he played just three games).

On 9th September 2015, he was loaned to Bournemouth on a 28 day loan. "I think I now have good experience of what the Championship is all about and what it takes to win games and get up the division" said Ward. He made five appearances before returning to Bournemouth for treatment on a a knee injury. He was then loaned back to Huddersfield at the end of November 2015.

Ward was released from his Bournemouth contract on 19th January 2016 and signed the following day for Paul Lambert's Blackburn on a two and a half year deal.

On 30th January 2018, he was one of two defenders, along with Stoke's Josh Tymon, to join MK Dons on loan until the end of the 2017/18 season. He had made 15 appearances for Blackburn so far that season. On the signing of Ward, boss Dan Micciche told the club website: "It was important, for me, to bring some experience in there and Elliott has a fantastic CV."

Released by Rovers at the end of the 2017/18 season, he trialled with Charlton in the summer of 2018. On 3rd September 2018, he signed for Notts County. He made 19 appearances but England's oldest league club dropped into the National League on 4th May 2019. On 17th May, Ward along with 11 other players were released by the Magpies. Others included striker Jon Stead and midfielder David Vaughan

In July 2019, Ward joined Cambridge on trial, playing against Leicester on 23rd July 2019 as did fellow triallist Wes Hoolahan. On 13th September 2019, Ward signed a contract with Cambridge until January 2020. He made 15 appearances for Cambridge before joining Conference side Chelmsford City on 16th February 2020 making his debut on the same evening in a 3–1 win against Tonbridge Angels.

He announced his retirement on 27th June 2021 at the age of 36 but will stay at Chelmsford helping to coach the club’s adacemy youngsters working with Robbie Simpson and Michael Spillane.

On 7th March 2022 he returned to West Ham joining their academy as Under-14s coach. “It’s brilliant to be back at West Ham United” said Ward. “West Ham is a Club I know very well so it feels like I’m slotting right back in. It’s like I’ve never been away. There are still a few familiar faces around the place, which is great for me. West Ham is a great, welcoming environment for me to continue learning.Working with the U14s, it’s all about helping them with their pathway into professional football. This is a hugely important period in a young persons’ life. They’re going through a lot as teenagers and we’re trying to help them navigate that and get ready for the next stage, but they also need to develop where they’re at as well." He will combine this role with that of Assistant Academy Manager at Chelmsford City.

In the summer of 2022, Ward joined Colchester United as full-time Under-18s coach. When Ross Embleton was appointed temporary manager of Colchester in February 2022, following the departure of Matt Bloomfield, Ward was named one of his assistants.

Official Norwich City website

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