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Crusaders defender Sean Ward believes he still has a lot to offer in the top flight

 

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Silver lining: Sean Ward has won titles at numerous clubs

Silver lining: Sean Ward has won titles at numerous clubs

©INPHO/Stephen Hamilton

Silver lining: Sean Ward has won titles at numerous clubs

Sean Ward believes he can challenge for major prizes in the Danske Bank Premiership next season - he's just not sure if it will be with Crusaders.

Ward's contract runs out at the end of the season and he hasn't been offered a new deal by the Shore Road club.

The versatile former Glentoran and Linfield ace joined the Crues in 2017 and has helped them win the league, Irish Cup and two County Antrim Shields.

Skipper Colin Coates' contract also runs out in the summer and both experienced players should have plenty of options, with Glenavon reportedly interested in a double swoop.

Ward, who turned 36 this month, is focused on shaking off a groin injury and hopes to return with a month.

"I'm currently injured and the club haven't offered me a new deal," said Ward. "I understand they are waiting to see how I progress. I'm a Crusaders player at the moment and waiting to see.

"I'm realistic, being an older player. The Crues may or may not have closed the door on me but my focus is on returning and helping the team win trophies.

"It's good to have options and I still value myself as a player who can help a team win major trophies. I just need to be fit to do that. I want to play in the top division and I've no doubt I'm capable of doing that with Crusaders or somewhere else.

"Crusaders are a great club but it's just frustrating being injured. I'm just trying to get fit again."

Ward has won league titles and Irish Cups with three big Belfast clubs, Linfield, Glentoran and Crusaders.

With the Crues still in the title race and Irish Cup this season, the medal cabinet could be forced open again.

"Everybody can beat everybody and the top teams are close together," he added. "Coming into February you can sometimes see one or two teams pull away but with all the teams taking points off each other it could remain exciting. Our squad had been big and competitive while we are starting to see more consistency."

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