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OFFICIAL club website of stoke city

Ward Gunning For Glory

ELITE Development Squad midfielder Charlie Ward says he is looking forward to the challenge of playing in the Under-19 Altstatten International Tournament later this week.

Glyn Hodges' squad will take to the field on Friday and Saturday where they are set to come up against a host of teams from around the world in the picturesque Swiss town.

The 19-year-old, who experienced continental competition during his time at Aston Villa, believes it will be a great opportunity to try and win a trophy whilst representing the Potters overseas.

"I used to go to quite a few tournaments when I was at [Aston] Villa but this will be my first with Stoke so it should be good," Ward revealed to

"It'll be something different for rest of the lads to come up against, just like it will be for me in ways.

"We are most definitely going out there to win the competition just like the Under-17s did in America earlier this year.

"Obviously Dave [Wright] was with them throughout their time in Dallas and he's come back and challenged us to do likewise in Switzerland.

"I'm sure if we don't come back with the trophy then we'll all be disappointed because winning it is our aim."

The young starlet, who earlier this season made the first team bench for the 4-1 Premier League victory against his former club, added that playing three 40-minute games on the opening day means that careful planning and recuperation will be key to any success which the squad hope to achieve.

"It will be a lot sharper and fast-paced to what we will be used to, but it provides us with a good challenge to overcome," added Ward.

"Playing 20 minutes each way will be different to what we would normally face so we will need to adapt to it quickly.

"The other teams in the tournament will be in the same boat as us but we just have to get our first game out of the way and then take it from there."

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