Copyright Getty Images
HOMECOMING...Nick Ward heads back to WA
PERTH Glory has signed former midfielder and 2005-06 A-League Young Player of the Year winner Nick Ward for next season.
The 27-year-old midfielder joins the club after a stint overseas in England and spells with Melbourne Victory and Wellington Phoenix.
“It’s great to welcome Nick back,” Perth Glory coach Ian Ferguson said.
“Nick has great energy and drive from midfield and can play in numerous positions. He ticks all the boxes.”
Ward played two National Soccer League games for Perth Glory in the 2003/04 Championship season before starring for the club in the inaugural Hyundai A-League season.
In 21 games, Ward scored five goals and was crowned the competition’s Young Player of the Year in the league's inaugural season.
“It’s exciting to be returning to Perth Glory,” Ward said. “The club is coming off a great finals campaign and hopefully we can go one step better next season.”
But as Ward arrives, Ferguson said the decision to release four players today was ‘tough’.
Former Socceroo Chris Coyne, Todd Howarth, Josh Mitchell and Tommy Amphlett were not offered new contracts.
“It’s been a hard day,” Ferguson said. “It’s tough to let four players go because they have all been good for the club and all contributed to last season.”
“Releasing the boys is certainly the toughest part of my job but we need to make these decisions.
“The four players were extremely professional and we wish them all the best.”
Last night, dashing full-back Josh Risdon was crowned the Player’s Player of the year at a special Chairman’s dinner.
“I’m really humbled to win this award because I have the highest respect for my teammates and coaches,” Risdon said.
“I’d really like to thank all the coaches for helping me improve my game.
“This season has been a great experience and one I have thoroughly enjoyed.”
In a break through season for the 19-year-old, Risdon played 24 games, and was exceptional in the club’s finals campaign.