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Iain Ward
Iain Ward

Iain Ward Interview

By: Jake Olley
Date: 18/06/2006

IAIN Ward was once considered one of the most promising youngsters at Blundell Park, but after a season on the fringes of the first team Iain fell out of favour and was eventually released. Jake Olley finds out what happened.

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Iain Ward's Career

Iain, you're at Brigg now, how's that been working out and what's the standard of football like in your division?

It's going reasonably well at Brigg, I haven't been able to play as much football as I'd like to this season as I was out for about two months with a knee injury which was frustrating. We're doing okay in the league and hopefully with a good run-in we can finish in the play-offs. The standard of football is reasonably good and quite physical, it was a bit different from what I was used to but I feel I've adapted to it okay.

How did it work and was it disappointing to drop out the Football League into the non-League scene?

After being released from Grimsby it was obviously disappointing. I wrote to a number of league clubs but was not offered any trials. I had a couple of trials with non-league clubs but eventually I decided that Brigg would be a good option. Although I would have liked to have stayed in the Football League I'm happy with the decision to join Brigg.

Did you have any other offers at a higher level to join other clubs and was it a case in that Brigg was handy and nearby?

I didn't receive any offers from clubs at a higher level, but once I decided that I wanted to start a degree course at the Grimsby Institute it was convenient and it gave me the chance to still play football at a decent level.

Now onto your time with the Mariners. You showed lots of promise and in the 02/03 season you made a real impact but the following season you weren't really given a chance. What do you feel the main reason for your lack of chance was and do you blame anyone in particular?

I felt I did reasonably well in the 02/03 season and was hoping that because of that experience I would be given a chance in the 03/04 season, however mid-way through the season I began to realize that the chances of making an appearance were not looking good so I asked if I could go out on loan but nothing ever materialized. I felt I had proved I was capable of playing at a high level so to not be given a chance was very frustrating, and not to be given a reason why I wasn't being given a chance was even more frustrating.

I personally can remember you quite well and to be fair I thought you could turn out to be a really good player. Do you feel that this is because Grimsby don't show enough confidence in youngsters and therefore the Youth development isn't as good as it should be?

When I was at Grimsby there were a number of good young players who I feel were more than capable of playing regular first team football, however when young players are not given the opportunity to progress they can become frustrated. I feel the youth development has produced a number of promising youngsters but when they are not given the opportunity to play first team football then it can have a deleterious effect on their development.

After your disappointment of the 03/04 season, you quit professional football. Was this a hard choice or had you just had enough? And would you ever make a return to Pro football given the chance?

After the 03/04 season I had to a certain extent lost some of my motivation and enjoyment for the game - that made it a tough decision to quit professional football as it is something I had always wanted to do. However after some thought I decided that I wanted a change of direction and I feel I made the right decision. If given the chance I wouldn't want to return to professional football as I'm now doing something I enjoy, I'm a happier person in general and I'm enjoying playing football once again.

Do you feel there are any up-and-coming gems around in the Non-League set and anyone to watch out for?

We've played against a number of good players in our division, I can't name anyone in particular but there are definitely some good non-league players who are capable of playing at a higher level.

And finally could you sum up your time at the Mariners and give some of your memories regarding the Fans, Coaching, The youth set up and stuff behind the scenes?

I'm grateful to Grimsby as they gave me the opportunity to play professional football, however not to be given more of a chance was disappointing. I enjoyed the majority of my time there and the fans were great and always very supportive. The coaching was okay, however it was disappointing to see Wilko leave, as he seemed to get the best out of the younger players. In Woodsey the youth set up has a good coach and I'm sure he can produce some good young players for the club.

We'd also like to take this chance to thank Iain Ward who took time out from his busy schedule to do this interview for Town fans

This site is by the fans, for the fans, and we will consider articles on any subject relating to the Mariners whether it be related to current news, a nostalgic look back in the past, a story about a player, a game or games in the past, something about Blundell Park or football in general. Click here to submit your article!

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This site is by the fans, for the fans, and we will consider articles on any subject relating to the Mariners whether it be related to current news, a nostalgic look back in the past, a story about a player, a game or games in the past, something about Blundell Park or football in general. Click here to submit your article!

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