Former Hawarden High School pupil Danny Ward handed captain’s armband for Finland friendly
Former Hawarden High School pupil Danny Ward will lead Wales out in a match against Finland in Helsinki this afternoon.
Rob Page has named an experimental starting line-up for the match against the Fins with goalkeeper Ward handed the captain’s armband.
With 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Belarus and Estonia scheduled over the course of the next week, coupled with a number of withdrawals, Gareth Bale is included alongside other experienced figures on the bench.
Born in Wrexham, Ward started his career at his local club, Wrexham FC, but made his senior debut in a Man of the Match performance on loan at Tamworth.
Liverpool moved to secure the goalkeeper’s services in January 2012, where he developed in their Under-18s and Under-23s sides before being promoted to the Reds’ first team and gaining valuable senior experience on loan at Morecambe and Aberdeen.
Ward then joined Huddersfield Town on a season-long loan in 2016/17, where he proved to be a key figure – playing 46 times as the Terriers were promoted to the Premier League.
He moved to Leicester City from Liverpool in the summer of 2018 and immediately shone at Leicester, keeping a clean sheet on debut in a 4-0 Carabao Cup Second Round win over Fleetwood Town.
Ward represented Wales at Under-17s, Under-19s and Under-21s level before receiving his first senior call-up in 2013. It would be three years before his international debut, which came as a substitute in a friendly against Northern Ireland in the lead up to UEFA EURO 2016.
He was part of the 23-man squad for the tournament, making his full Wales debut in their opening group game – a 2-1 victory over Slovakia.
Wales went on to reach the semi-finals before eventually losing out to Belgium in the last four.