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Ward commits to Palace

Defender Joel Ward has signed a contract extension with Crystal Palace.

The 25-year-old right back has penned a new deal at the Barclays Premier League club until the summer of 2018.

Ward has been an ever present for the Eagles in their Premier League campaign this season, with Alan Pardew's men having moved into 11th place well clear of the survival battle.

"It has been something that has been talked about a little bit and I am glad to now put that to the back and just concentrate with my football and I'm delighted to have signed the deal," Ward said on the club's official website,

"The relationship with the gaffer and the club helped. I am excited for what the next few years have in store."

Ward, who signed from Portsmouth in June 2009 and helped the Eagles secure promotion back to the top flight, added: "I love the passion of the club, the fans have been exceptional since I've come here and they've welcomed me with open arms.

"It has been a joy to play in front of them - especially at home - week in, week out. Even the travelling support's been incredible."

Palace - who followed up their home win over Manchester City with an impressive 4-1 victory at relegation-threatened Sunderland last weekend - welcome West Brom to Selhurst Park on Saturday, now managed by former Eagles boss Tony Pulis.

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