Ward convinced to join Palace by Freedman's swaying power
Crystal Palace’s capture of Joel Ward on Monday marked a significant coup for the Eagles – one that was all down to their manager Dougie Freedman.
Highly-rated Ward was being chased by a number of Championship clubs, including Ipswich Town and Leeds United, with cash-strapped Portsmouth desperate to sell some of their star assets.
But when push came shove, Freedman proved to have the edge over the more experienced Paul Jewell and Neil Warnock, with 22-year-old right-back Ward revealing it was the Scot’s positive attitude that resulted in him putting pen to paper on a four-year deal that cost Palace £400,000.
“I met Dougie on a couple of occasions and he is very positive and very driven about where he wants the club to go,” said Ward.
“He has got a vision for the club and he wants to take it forward and take it to the Premier League.
“He is big on personal development and making players the best they can be and as a player that is what you look for in a manager.
“He is very infectious in his beliefs and where he wants to take the club and its players.
“I am really happy with how everything has gone and I am looking forward to starting a new chapter with Crystal Palace – it is exciting to see what it will bring.”
Ward, who also picked the brains of his Portsmouth team-mate and former Palace captain Hayden Mullins about the move, came through the ranks on the south coast and already has experience in the Premiership – a place he wants to get back to.
“I don’t think any footballer wants anything but to be in the Premiership and any manager wants to be in the Premiership,” he added.
“If everyone has that same dream then, hopefully, we can all come together and do that.
“With the way the manager wants to play, Palace is a club going places.”