Photo woe for new coach Ward

COLCHESTER United's new assistant manager, John Ward, does not have very fond memories of the Community Stadium.

Carl Marston

Colchester soccer (John Ward story, with pic)

By Carl Marston

COLCHESTER United's new assistant manager, John Ward, does not have very fond memories of the Community Stadium.

One of Ward's last acts, as manager of Carlisle United, was to witness his side's 5-0 thrashing at the hands of the U's last October. He parted company with the Cumbrians a week later.

Now he is back, long-term, as the No. 2 to Aidy Boothroyd. The duo were side-by-side during Saturday's gutsy goalless draw at Southampton.

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“I'm very impressed with the Community Stadium and its surroundings, but I don't particularly like one of the photos (in the tunnel) of the players celebrating one of the goals against my old team (Carlisle)!” joked Ward.

“However, I'm looking forward to the challenge.

“I've been an assistant manager several times before in my career, but this is slightly different. I was usually the assistant to an older manager before (like Graham Taylor), but this is only Aidy's second position in the game as a manager.

“I have a lot of experience at this level (League One), and I'm hoping to pass on my knowledge.

“Aidy has an ambition to move out of this division, and hopefully he will also want me when we're in the Championship!

“I have a lot of respect for Aidy. He's a good motivator, and as you can see (from Saturday) he has already established a good attitude in the players,” added Ward.

Lincoln-born Ward spent most of his playing career at his home town club, as a striker, before moving into management, initially as an assistant to Graham Taylor at Watford from 1982.

When Taylor moved on to Aston Villa in 1987, Ward followed him. But he later struck out on his own as a manager at York City (1991-93), Bristol Rovers (1993-96), Bristol City (1997-98), Cheltenham (2003-07) and Carlisle (2007-08).

The 58-year-old had recently teamed up with Gary Ablett at Stockport, as his assistant, but he didn't take long to decide on a move to the upwardly mobile U's.

“It was not a difficult decision,” admitted Ward.

“I made my decision on Friday, having spoken to Aidy. I had a nice position at Stockport, and they are very good people, but they are two very different clubs.”

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