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Ward praised on two-year anniversary as U's boss
John Ward has brought much-needed stability to Colchester United, according to general manager Tim Waddington.
Today marks the two-year anniversary of Ward’s appointment as U’s manager.
The 61-year-old is close to becoming the club’s longest-serving boss since Phil Parkinson, who spent more than three years in charge of the U’s.
And Boothroyd’s predecessor, Paul Lambert, managed Colchester for just ten months before quitting for Norwich City.
Ward has guided Colchester to successive top-ten finishes, during his two seasons in charge.
And as the U’s boss prepares for another season at the helm with a more restricted budget to work from, Waddington believes Ward is the perfect man for the job.
Waddington said: “John fits exactly what Colchester United is and that includes focusing on the youth and bringing young players through.
“Stability is hugely important at any football club and he has helped to provide that here.
“We want to lay the foundations down for things to grow, like the youth team.
“Without having the stability at the top with people like John and Joe Dunne, it’s almost impossible to do that.
“No other Colchester United managers in recent times have had to operate with the more limited resources that John has.
“But two successive top-ten finishes with a diminished resource to work from is not a bad return at all.
“He’s had two years to put his mark on the job and you can see that the players are enjoying it.
“John has had his knockers but the feedback we’ve had from most supporters now at the question and answer sessions has been very positive.
“John’s not a manager who grumbles but he now has the opportunity to have the lads in one place with the new training ground.
“He’s had to beg and borrow before in terms of training facilities but now he has everything at his disposal and it’s a huge milestone for the club.”
Ward has been a coach for the last three decades, having started out as Graham Taylor’s assistant at Watford, in 1982.
But despite his wealth of experience, Waddington believes Ward’s desire for the game is undiminished.
“John loves the game and he’s passionate about it at all levels,” said Waddington.
“He’s had something like 30 years in coaching and he’s a remarkable character.
“He has got an unwavering love of football, at all levels.
“I don’t think that he gets the credit that he deserves and football is generally a better place for people like him.”