FOLLOWING on from Greg Bolger’s impressive display for St Patrick’s Athletic at Oriel Park in March, Keith Ward became the latest Dundalk old boy to star against the Lilywhites when he gave a man of the match display in Bohemians’ 2-0 win on Friday night.
Ward became a terrace favourite amongst the Dundalk support last year and speaking afterwards he said he would have liked to have remained at Oriel Park for the 2012 season.
“I enjoyed coming back tonight”, he said. “I had a great time here last season and I really enjoyed it. I thought we had an excellent team. We were very unlucky with injuries but I think that if we kept that team together and maybe added one or two more we could have pushed for the league this season. I really feel that.”
Ian Foster’s departure in December killed off Ward’s hopes of a new contract although he revealed that the club did approach him late on when he already had agreed a deal with Bohemians.
“I didn’t hear anything early on from Dundalk”, he said. “I was still on the PFAI list and one or two clubs were on to me but there was nothing really that I wanted.
“Aaron Callaghan came in for me at Bohs and I agreed to sign for him. Sean did get in touch but it was very late. If I had heard earlier it might have been a different story.
“I don’t want to be playing with a different club every year. I want to get a club and settle down and play for the same fans year in year out”, he added.
With a minimal playing budget, Callaghan has had to turn to younger players this season. The make up of the Bohs squad is similar to Dundalk’s but Ward feels they have an advantage in one key area.
“We have a young team but there’s few more older heads in our squad than there is in Dundalk’s. We have the likes of Owen Heary in defence and that is very important. We can go out knowing that we have that base at the back.
“I’m sure Dundalk will come good”, he added. “It’s hard to try and turn around a team from what was there last year but I’m sure if people are patient, it will turn out right for them.