The Athletic journalist Matt Woosnam has backed Crystal Palace’s decision to hand Joel Ward a new contract and believes the full-back deserves to be rewarded with a testimonial.

Ward joined from Portsmouth after the Eagles won the £400,000 race for his services in 2012.

The 31-year-old has gone on to make 273 appearances for the Premier League club and played a key role as Palace won promotion to the top flight via the Championship play-offs 12 months after his arrival.

Should Joel Ward be offered a testimonial?





However, he faced an uncertain future at the end of last season as he was among a string of players whose contract was set to expire at the end of June.

Palace, under new manager Patrick Vieira, and Ward eventually agreed a new two-year deal earlier this month.

Should Ward stay until the end of his contract, he will have been on the south London club’s books for 11 years.

Woosnam believes the Eagles made the right decision in keeping Ward on board and has urged the club to reward him for his services.

He told Football FanCast: “I think he really deserves a testimonial at Palace.

“Joel Ward has been absolutely fantastic and cleared the ball off the line in the play-off final all those years ago.

“When you think it was only £400,000 to sign him from Portsmouth, he has well over paid back that fee. I think it’s a really good signing.”

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