After completing his University of Staffordshire Sports Journalism degree two weeks ago, there’s more good news for Lewis Ward as he has agreed a new contract at Reading that will keep him at the club until 2020.
Part of the academy side that won the Under-21 Premier League Cup in 2014, goalkeeper Ward is yet to make a first team appearance for the club, but was part of the senior squad for last summer’s pre-season tour of the Netherlands.
The 21-year-old has spent time on loan at Whitehawk, Sutton, Icelandic top-tier side Fylkir, and Margate before having temporary spells at Hungerford and then Aldershot last season. He earned many plaudits for his performances for the Shots as they reached the National League play-offs.
Very happy to sign again can’t wait to start back again https://t.co/vfO1lDy4vr— Lewis Ward (@lewismward) June 22, 2018
It remains to be seen whether Ward will go back out on loan in 2018/19 or whether Paul Clement will want him around the first team squad. It seems almost certain that Vito Mannone will remain first choice between the sticks, whilst Anssi Jaakkola also signed a one year contract extension last month. George Legg, who is a year older than Ward, has featured in a few matchday squads over the past couple of seasons and will therefore likely be the man he’ll aim to overtake to become ‘third choice’.
The announcement does leave Luke Southwood’s future at Reading a little uncertain, as despite also being offered a new contract this summer, the England Under-20 goalkeeper is yet to sign on the dotted line and may feel that he has more chance of progressing elsewhere.