Belfast Telegraph

Jamie Ward is planning to make the grade with Nottingham Forest

By Graham Luney

Jamie Ward says he's bursting with pride after agreeing a four-year contract with Nottingham Forest. After making the short move down the A52, the Derby County old boy and Northern Ireland international says he can't wait to get going at the City Ground.

"Forest are a massive club and I feel very proud to be here," said the 29-year-old.

"Once I had spoken to the manager (Dougie Freedman) and I knew that the club were interested, this was the place where I wanted to be.

"I don't feel I have a point to prove. It is never nice being released by a club but that is football and you get on with things.

"At the end of the day, I will give 100% for Forest now and I am happy because I have moved to a big club."

Ward believes Forest can challenge for a place in the Premier League this season.

"I would not have come here if I did not believe we were capable of challenging for promotion this year," he added. "The players are good enough. It is just about being consistent for 46 games. Then you see where it takes you."

Northern Ireland boss Michael O'Neill will be delighted to see one of his key strikers fixed up with a club as the Euro 2016 qualifying campaign reaches crunch time.

Ward has struck up an effective right-wing partenrship with Conor McLaughlin on the international stage which has kept Northern Ireland on the road to France.

Meanwhile, Ward's international team-mate Craig Cathcart has signed a new four-year deal at Watford.

The 26-year-old defender made 30 appearances for the Hornets last season as they won promotion to the Barclays Premier League.

Cathcart, who started his career at Manchester United, signed for Watford from Blackpool last summer.

Watford, under new head coach Quique Sanchez Flores, have already snapped up Gabriele Angella on a new five-year deal and Matej Vydra has turned his loan move from Italian side Udinese into a permanent deal.

Belfast Telegraph


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