Ferns defender Ashleigh Ward joins English club Southampton

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Two-cap New Zealand international Ashleigh Ward has signed for English FA Women’s Championship side Southampton.

The left back joins from London side Actonians after previously playing in the United States.

Ward (27) started her senior career with Canterbury United Pride, winning national league titles with them in 2014 and 2016. She made her Football Ferns debut in 2021, after representing New Zealand at U-17 and U-20 levels.

She told Southampton FC’s website:

“I’m very excited to be here, get in with the girls and get started. It’s an opportunity that I never thought I’d have.

“I saw the development and progression that Saints had in the women’s game and I was excited to be part of that journey and help with that, as well as see myself develop in my footballing career as well.”

Southampton’s Head of Women’s and Girls’ Football, Marieanne Spacey-Cale, said:

“Ashleigh’s going to be a real addition. She’s such a dedicated, passionate, committed person whatever she does.

“It’s great to get a left-footed player – they’re such a premium in the women’s game, so it’s great to get a naturally left-sided player into the squad.

“She will definitely bring a passion, commitment and desire because she’s gone through so much in her career already that she’s now living her dream and she’ll want to maximise the opportunity and embrace it the very best way she can.”

Main photo: Ashleigh Ward signs for FA Women’s Championship club. Credit: Southampton FC.

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