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Ward Relishing Competition From New Boy Taylor

14 July 2017

Stephen Ward is relishing the fresh competition sparked by the arrival of Charlie Taylor.

The two will vie for the left back spot this season following Taylor’s signing from Leeds United on a four-year deal.

But Ward, who was one of the club’s most consistent performers last season as Burnley maintained their top-flight status for the first time in over 40 years, is adamant the rivalry can only benefit the club.

The seasoned Irish international, 31, told Clarets Player HD: “Listen, Charlie is a great young player and he’s had a fantastic few years for Leeds.

“He’s going to be an asset for this club for years to come and competition is something every player should expect.

“You can’t be at a Premier League club and not have someone vying for your jersey. That’s no different here at Burnley Football Club, so it’s up to me to go out and put in a performance to make sure I do whatever I can to get the shirt.

“Charlie will do the same and you’ve seen the team spirit we have here in the last couple of years.

“Everyone has had their time when they are in and out of the team, but all the while the focus is on the team doing well and making sure we achieve our goal.

“That’s what is so great about working in an environment like this.”

Ward and Taylor are both expected to play 45 minutes each as Burnley get their pre-season campaign up and running on Friday night at Shamrock Rovers.

And Dublin-born Ward, whose career started at Rovers' local rivals Bohemians, added: “I felt I had a very good season last season and that coincided with us staying in the league, so you can’t really ask for anything more.

“But that’s gone now and we are into a new season and it’s time to prove yourself again.

“It’s the same for everyone, Jon (Walters) has come in and I’m sure the forwards are thinking they need to play on that edge to give themselves the best opportunity (of playing).

“The manager will pick the best 11 for each game and I’m sure everyone will have a part to play as we look to create history again and look for back-to-back Premier League seasons.

Kick off at the Tallaght Stadium tonight is 7pm and Burnley fans can pay on the night.

We will have regular updates and post-match reaction and highlights on the website and Clarets Player HD.

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