Clarets defender signs new deal

Stephen Ward celebrates scoring against Chelsea with James Tarkowski
Stephen Ward celebrates scoring against Chelsea with James Tarkowski

Clarets left back Stephen Ward has extended his stay at Turf Moor.

The Republic of Ireland international - fresh from scoring a wonder goal in Saturday's opening day victory at champions Chelsea - has agreed a deal running until June, 2019 with the option of a possible further 12 months.

Ward, 31, has been at Burnley since August, 2014 and is happy to be staying at a club where he is clearly enjoying his football.

“It’s great and long may it continue,” said Ward, whose stunning goal against Chelsea last Saturday helped secure a thrilling 3-2 win over the champions at Stamford Bridge.

“I’m delighted to have signed. It’s just great to be part of a club like this at the minute and hopefully we can have another successful season.”

Ward joined the Clarets from Wolves, following a season-long loan spell at Brighton, after Burnley had won promotion to the Premier League in 2014.

Injury meant the left-back was restricted to just nine top-flight appearances in his first season at Turf Moor and he again had to be patient at the start of the following campaign.

But the defender claimed a starting place half-way through the season, with his return coinciding with an unbeaten run to the end of the campaign as Sean Dyche’s side bounced straight back to the Premier League as 2016 Championship winners.

Ward went on to help Ireland reach the knock-out stages of Euro 2016 in France and then missed just one game as one of the Clarets’ most consistent performers as Burnley sustained their top-tier status last season.

His existing contract – signed in October 2016 – was due to expire at the end of the current season.