DARREN Ward turned down a number of other interested clubs to sign for Swindon Town, as he believed the Robins provided him with the best chance for a “new challenge”.
Ward agreed to join Town on loan until January on Thursday, a move first reported by the Advertiser last week, and the Millwall defender weighed up his options long and hard before committing to Paolo Di Canio and his Swindon team.
The 33-year-old revealed his decision to plump for the Wiltshire outfit revolved around the set-up on offer in SN1 and the fact that the club’s lofty ambitions match his own.
“I was contacted a little while ago to say that Swindon were interested,” he said.
“I’ve been looking to get away for quite some time and I felt as though I need a new challenge.
“I’ve said that for a long time, not just over the summer.
“I felt as though it was time to move on for certain reasons and it’s just taken a while.
“I wanted to make sure it was right for myself. There’s been a lot of interest from other clubs and it’s just about touching and feeling and finding out what’s going on out there.
“I’ve still got a lot of burning ambition inside me to go out and achieve targets which I’ve got. People see how fit I am. People look at my age but I think it’s quite funny to be honest.
“After coming down and meeting the manager and the staff I was very, very impressed with the vision and the players here - and that’s what I want to do.
“Just to do my homework was very important because I’m very methodical, I like to know what I’m stepping into - I’m under no illusions as to how tough it’s going to be training-wise.
“But I’m fine with that and I’m just happy to get over the line.”
Ward is determined to make an impact in Swindon and he does not want anyone thinking he has come to the County Ground to wind down a career which he hopes still has plenty of time to run.
“I’d like to think that I can add something to the team,” he said.
“I’ve got a lot of experience, I’ve played just under 500 games in my career but I hope to play many, many more.
“I’m not here just to cool down or take a step back, not at all. I’m here to improve, I’m here to give my best and help the club to achieve more.”
Finally, when questioned on a potential permanent switch to Town at the turn of the year, Ward remained coy.
“I think it’s between the two clubs, let’s see how it goes,” he said. “At the minute it’s about trying to blend in and get the balance as quick as I can and contribute to the team to hopefully get some wins.”