BY RICHARD CAWLEY
Charlton Athletic have signed Jamie Ward on loan – the Nottingham Forest attacker arriving in time to beat this evening’s deadline.
The Addicks brought in West Ham United midfielder Josh Cullen yesterday on a season long-loan.
And caretaker manager Lee Bowyer’s next priority after that was to bring in a player who could play both as a striker and a slightly deeper role.
The South London Press understands that Brentford’s Alan Judge was another prime target.
Northern Ireland international Ward, 32, has played for Sheffield United and Derby County. He has amassed over 400 competitive matches.
Bowyer told the club’s website: “I’m delighted. Jamie is another great addition to the squad. He brings experience, which we need to balance it up with the young squad that we’ve got. He’s a good player who can play out wide, either wing, behind the strikers, anywhere up the top. He’s an explosive player who is going to make chances for our forwards.
“We’ve had to be patient, which I said we would do, to bring in the quality that we have. I think it was definitely worth waiting for. We’ve got a lot of Championship players there and Jamie has now added to the experience with that.”
Ward added: “I’m obviously delighted. It’s a big opportunity for me to join a club I’ve always enjoyed playing against. It’s an important time for myself to get games under my belt and hopefully help Charlton go in the right direction and push up the league.
“I scored a few times at The Valley. I scored a penalty in one game, I’ve scored two in another game and I’ve scored a free kick in another game, so I’ve always had good times when I’ve been there with other teams so hopefully those good times will carry on with my goalscoring record at the ground.”
Addicks head of recruitment Steve Gallen said: “Jamie is a bundle of energy. Great enthusiasm, great attitude. I’ve known him for years as he’s been playing at a high level so I think a lot of us are aware of him but I rang Neil Warnock today who had him at Cardiff at the end of last season. His exact words were ‘He’s a gem, great attitude, great lad, will work hard for ya’. What we see him bringing to the team is that he can play in a few different positions, his running is the main thing, his enthusiasm, he wants to get at players and run in behind teams. We think he’ll get some assists for us and we think we’ll get some goals from him.
“I think he’ll be a fans’ favourite and he’ll certainly be a players’ favourite because his attitude is top drawer and his professionalism as well. The fans will love his attitude and his energy.”