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Derby County FC Player Profiles

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UPDATED 11:14 15th July 2012

Northern Ireland international Ward is an energetic attacker who has been with Derby County since 2011.

After an impressive loan spell from Sheffield United during latter stages of the 2010/11 season, in which he scored five times in 13 appearances, he penned a permanent deal after Derby agreed an undisclosed fee with the Blades in May 2011.

He quickly set about establishing himself in the side and also became a fans' favourite for his lively attacking displays, as well as his never-say-die workrate and attitude. He can operate in a wide midfield role or as an out-and-out attacker, which brings flexibility to his play while he is also prone to the odd spectacular strike from distance.

Ward scored four times during the 2011/12 campaign, including the winner in the Boxing Day clash with Leeds United.

Ward’s form was impressive in 2012/13 as he scored 12 times in 26 appearances, with his game time limited due to hamstring problems but he still went on to finish as the Rams’ leading goalscorer.

2013/14 saw Ward establish himself as a key component of Derby’s promotion-chasing squad and he made 42 appearances in total, scoring seven times.

A former Aston Villa trainee, Ward enjoyed successful spells in the lower leagues with Torquay United and Chesterfield before the Blades splashed out in excess of £300,000 for his services in 2009.

His goalscoring exploits at Saltergate, 29 in 67 league games, caught the eyes of many Championship clubs, especially after a run of 10 goals in 10 games just prior to his move to Bramall Lane and he scored nine times in 71 outings for the Blades.

He has been capped at Under-21 level by Northern Ireland and earned his first full international cap at the beginning of the 2011/12 season against the Faroe Islands, before scoring his first international goal in September 2013 against Portugal.