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Sunday, December 17, 2006

Australia's Coach Graham Arnold on Nick Ward's Move to QPR

Arnold: QPR not the club for Ward
By Brett Klucznik - Tribal Football December 14, 2006

Graham Arnold has backed midfielder Nick Ward to play a key role in the Socceroos 2010 World Cup campaign but admits the former Perth Glory star is not best suited to the frantic nature of the English Championship.
Ward, the A-League's young player of the year last term, began the season as a regular in Queens Park Rangers' starting line-up, however, since John Gregory took over as coach in late September the 21-year old has made just further two appearances for the London club.
Arnold feels Ward is better suited to playing in a league where there is less emphasis on the physical side of the game.
"The Championship is a special league, it's one of the hardest physical leagues you can play in. The game goes at 100 miles per hour and no one puts their foot on the ball," explained Arnold. "Nicky always wants the ball to feet so he can start to play (but) the more he plays the better he'll become. I've no doubt he'd be more suited to the premiership or on the continent somewhere where everything is played through midfield."
The worry for Arnold is that another of Australia's hottest young prospects is being stifled by circumstances.
"Like any young player who goes overseas, the first year is always the hardest in adapting to the pace of the league and to the standard. But all the young guys need to be playing forty games a year to learn by their mistakes and to learn the game," said Arnold. "I think Nicky has a big part to play in the Olyroos and at the same time he's got a big part to play towards 2010. Nicky can play as a second striker or in midfield so he gives us a good option. He's someone who's monitored very closely."
Ward has set his sights on being part of the Socceroos side for February's friendly with Denmark in London. But he knows his chances are seriously diminished unless he can earn regular game time with Rangers.
"It's not a walk in the park and it's completely different to what I'm used to," he said. "But I'm up for the challenge. I just need to be playing more games. I'd love to play for Australia against Denmark but I need to be playing more" Tribal Football

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