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John Ward 2005/06
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John Ward 2005/06

Which team did you support as a boy?

My father took me to the Rangers games so I suppose I supported Rangers.  

Where were you brought up and with which club did you begin your career?

I was brought up in Dundee. I started playing football as a boy at Fairmuir Boys Club. I then went to Arbroath where I was actually team captain at the age of 16 and then to Dundee for a short while. Following a spell in Denmark, I gave up football for a while before starting with Lochee and then Tayport.

Tell us about your spell playing in Denmark?

After I left Dundee FC, I spent a while in Denmark and played for HV Idovre and for Bronby. However I was homesick and returned to Dundee where as I said, I gave up the game for a while. 

Which manager(s) has had the biggest influence on your career?  

I have learned something from every Manager both good and bad.

You were part of the highly successful Tayport team. Tell us about their secret formula for success?  

Unlike Cowden where the players come from Edinburgh, Glasgow and other parts of Scotland, the Tayport team were all local players from Dundee and round Tayport. Some had a very long time to settle with the team. For example I was with Tayport for six years.

What honours have you won in your career so far? 

I have won every honour at junior level. I have won International caps, Cup Medals and League and SuperLeague Medals.My biggest thrill was to play for Scotland in a Mini Tournament in Glasgow where I received an award as man of the Tournament from the Lord Provost.

Who are the biggest characters you have met in football and why?

Don McVicar who played left back for St Johnstone and Grant Patterson a 38 year old veteran who played left back at Tayport. Both were larger than life characters with a mad sense of humour, always ready to play pranks. 

How did your move to Central Park come about?  

Dave Baikie asked me.After last years Junior Cup win, I felt I had won everything and done everything at Tayport and was ready for a new challenge. I received other offers but Dave Baikie who of course I knew very well, was very persuasive.

It is rumoured that you had many offers to return senior in recent years, what persuaded you to move to Cowdenbeath?  

I had offers from Forfar, Montrose and Raith. As I said Dave Baikie was the biggest influence in persuading me to come to Central Park.

Do you find the pace of the game a lot different form junior level and how does the training compare?  

The Juniors are probably much more fast and furious than playing in the Third Division where the pace is different and I seem to have more time on the ball. As for training here, there is much more emphasis on ball work and on passing, both short and long and not so much on running, mainly short, sharp sprints.

You played senior football previously, tell us about your early experiences? 

I was captain at 16 at Arbroath where I played for a season and a half in the Third Division under Danny McGrain, Jocky Scott, George Mackie and then John Brogan.

How does Innes Ritchie rate as a defensive partner?  

Excellent, Really good - we can only get better and better.

How have you enjoyed playing under Mixu and how does he differ from previous managers? 

Improving as Mixu gains confidence. He concentrates on ball work and really puts the emphasis on passing.  

Who has been your most difficult opponent in your career and so far this season?  

Owen Coyle for his movement and our strikers in training. The most difficult game this season was against Partick Thistle right at the start and we were unlucky against St. Johnstone.  

You are one of leading scorers already this season with three goals. Will you carry on? 

Scoring goals seems to come naturally to me. I scored 16 goals at Tayport last season and have always had double digit scores each season. Mixu likes to push me forward.

How does the set up at Cowdenbeath compare with other part-time teams you have played for?  

The set up at Cowden is similar to Tayport. Training facilities are excellent.     

How does the current team spirit at Central Park compare with previous clubs?  

The team has bonded stronger together because of Dave Baikie's departure. There are characters in the team. We all get on so well together and can only get stronger and better.

Do you see yourself being at Central Park for the foreseeable future? 

I'm not thinking that far ahead, in fact I am thinking only of Albion Rovers. I want to win the League and I think this team is more than capable of achieving this target.

What are your ambitions for this season and your future playing career?  

My ambition is to win the League and to go as far as I can in the Second Division.  

Do you have ambitions to go into management later in your career?  

I certainly want to obtain coaching certificates and to go into Coaching and Management.

Finally, do you have a message for the fans?

Thanks for all the support you give, particularly at away games. I like to meet the fans and went into Wee Jimmies to thank some of them for their support. Unlike some fans,they don't have unrealistic ambitions and the continuous encouragement gives me a close bond in my mind during the game.