Ward leads men’s soccer team into the new year

Charles Cox | Staff Writer

Last year’s season was not the greatest for the UNCW men’s soccer. But now, the team is beginning a new year with a new squad that will look to reclaim its spot as one of the CAA’s top performers. In order to do just that, the Seahawks will have to use one of their best assets, sophomore Jack Ward, to the fullest extent.

Ward originally hails from Newscastle-upon-Tyne in England. In July 2007, Ward moved to Fayetteville, North Carolina and enrolled at Fayetteville Academy after connecting with fellow Englishman, Coach Andrew McCarthy.

“I had been playing for a youth professional team in England named Middlesboro,” said Ward. “In England, after youth professional play, you either get signed professionally or you’re finished playing at that competitive level. I was not offered a contract, so I came to the United States.”

Just like anyone coming to a new country, Ward had his adjustments that he had to make. For one, he realized Americans are more laid-back than most in England. He also noticed that Americans go out to eat more than British people, who tend to eat at home with their family.

“My first 6 months after living in Fayetteville, I had gained 15 pounds,” Ward said. “Also, the weather was a huge adjustment. The hottest day last year in England was 73 degrees.”

While he was recruited by other schools, Ward had little trouble deciding where to play at the collegiate level.

“I loved everything about UNCW and the coach who I would be playing for,” Ward said. “I felt if had any problems at all, the coaching staff would help me. Also, if for some reason I couldn’t play soccer, I knew I would still be happy here.”

This was evident when Ward was redshirted his freshman year, preserving his skills for another year with the Seahawks. While he is only a redshirt sophomore, Ward has already gained captaincy for the varsity squad.

So, what should we expect this year, Jack?

“We definitely have the players to have a successful year,” Ward said. “It’s just a matter of incorporating the right players in the correct positions.”