There is an age old belief within football circles that you cannot win anything with a side dependant on youngsters, yet me being the firm believer in youth development that I am, I cannot help but hope that the young stars of the future on display at the 2016 UEFA European Championships take this opportunity that fate has afforded them to make the world of football sit up and truly appreciate the magnificence that these wunderkinds have been created to grace us with. A plethora of talented players will be keen to showcase their talent in the 15th edition of the UEFA European Championship; we at GSV would like to hone our binoculars in on the u/23 players that will be looking to etch their mark on the global game, without further ado, we present to you the UEFA EURO 2016 Young Guns To Watch. Prendre plaisir!
Full Name: Daniel Ward
DoB: June 22nd, 1993 (22)
PoB: Wrexham, Wales
Height: 1, 91m
Club: Liverpool Football Club
Club Career Record: 36 Games, 38 Goals Conceded, 12 Clean Sheets
National Team Record: 3 Caps, 4 Goals Conceded
The Grand Stand View
The advancements in sports nutrition, training and conditioning have seen us move away from the notion that agile ball-playing goalkeepers can’t be lanky and dominant in the air as well; we’ve seen countless examples of how tall stoppers have now been developed to get down and make good saves with great reflexes, while also having the balance and coordination to play with the ball at their feet. Danny Ward is a fine example of how a tall, aerially dominant goalkeeper can also have the mobility and reflexes to get down as quickly as the best of them.
A natural shot-stopper who thrives off making stretching saves, Ward uses his long frame to protect his goal extremely well and possesses a great leap off the ground that makes him even harder to beat in the air. Gifted with the ability to position himself very well, Danny Ward displays a knack for making last-ditch saves and the composure to watch a ball in traffic and adjust himself accordingly to make the picturesque stops he loves so much. The downfall of being such a natural shot-stopper is that Ward is less inclined to hold onto the ball when making a save, something that leads to him often having to make a follow-up stop due to the ball not being properly cleared.
Danny Ward has made great strides in his young career, being a part of the Wales side at such a major international tournament will assist his development as he seeks to continue developing at a good rate. Goalkeepers are known to only begin entering the peak years of their careers in their late 20’s, Ward will be hoping to develop into the calibre of player that can be the reliable last line of defence The Dragons need to make international tournament participation a regular occurrence.