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Friday, 25 July 2008

A big season for...Elliott Ward

23-year-old central defender Elliott Ward begins his third season with Coventry City looking to turn in consistently, the kind of performances which Sky Blues fans have glimpsed over the past couple of years.

The West Ham United youth product was sold, somewhat prematurely according to Hammers fans, in the summer of 2006 after an impressive loan spell at Plymouth had added to the reputation he built up a year earlier, helping the East London club reach the top-flight.

His signing was seen as a coup by Coventry and early performances backed that up with Ward's economical style of play marking him out as a class act.

Ward however remains a player prone to switching off at crucial times and his second season at the Ricoh Arena saw him brushed aside with embarrasing ease at times by strikers such as Marlon King of Watford and Roman Bednar of West Brom during some heavy defeats for what was then Iain Dowie's side.

With Chris Coleman now in charge, Ward has a former top centre-half to learn from and a big season could be in prospect.

"Elliott looks extremely fit," Coleman told the club's official website over the summer.

"He has lost a lot of weight, has worked hard and is in great shape.

"I have watched him as a player for about five or six years and he is in better shape than I have ever seen him before."

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