Derby County today confirmed that Joe Ward will join the club on a three-year deal following the expiration of his contract at Sky Bet League One rivals Peterborough United at the end of June.

The 27-year-old, who can play at right full-back or on the wing, joins the Rams having spent a successful five-and-a-half seasons with the Posh.

Here, takes a look at our new man in a little more depth…

Career Beginnings...

Born 22nd August 1995 in Chelmsford, Ward’s footballing career began with local side Chelmsford City in 2009.

After working his way through the youth set-up on a BTEC scholarship scheme, he made his first team debut at just 16-years-old during the 2012/13 campaign.

In the following season, the 2013/14 campaign, he made his first ever start for the club and scored against Farnborough in a 3-1 victory.

His most successful campaign for Chelmsford on a personal level came in his final one, 2014/15. He netted eleven times, including six during an FA Cup run, but his most notable strike came on the final day of the season as he scored the winning goal to save the team from relegation to the Conference South.

On The Move...

In the summer of 2015, Ward secured his first move away from his hometown club and signed for Brighton & Hove Albion on a Development Squad contract following a successful trial period. He also spent some time with West Ham United, also on trial, prior to joining the Seagulls.

Whilst unable to break in to the first team reckoning, he was loaned out to National League side Lincoln City in January 2017 and his impressive form saw that loan extended for the remainder of the campaign. He was part of history whilst with Lincoln as they reached the Quarter Final stage of the Emirates FA Cup whilst still a non-league outfit. Ward featured in their Fifth Round win at Premier League Burnley, as well as their last eight defeat to Arsenal.

The Seagulls released Ward that summer and he signed for National League side Woking on a permanent deal as he sought to gain more first-team football.

He netted on his debut for the club and began catching the eye of teams higher up the pyramid almost immediately, as well as securing England 'C' honours.

Due to his impressive form, he only remained with the Cards for six months before earning a move to Peterborough United in January 2018 after making 37 appearances and netting seven goals.

Making The Peterborough Move...

After scoring against Peterborough in Round Two of the FA Cup for Woking in late 2017, Ward went on to join the Sky Bet League One side just a few weeks later.

He was an ever-present at the Weston Homes Stadium and cemented himself as a real fan favourite during his time with the club.

He made 233 appearances in a five-and-a-half-year spell and boasted impressive statistics of 23 goals and 27 assists.

During Peterborough’s promotion to the Championship in the 2020/21 season, Ward was named in the Sky Bet League One Team of the Season at the league’s Annual Award’s Ceremony and he impressed whilst in the six tier in the 2021/22 campaign.

He was deployed at right-back, right-wing and right-wing back during his time with the Posh and in his final season he made 46 appearances, scoring seven times and providing 10 assists.