Football Management & Technology

Ward & Turner Handed Ilkeston Helm


Date: Thu 22 Sep 2022

By Steve Whitney

Pitching In Southern League Premier Division Central club Ilkeston Town have confirmed that Jamie Ward has now been appointed as permanent manager, with Ben Turner as his assistant.

The experienced players took over in interim charge towards the beginning of the month, following the departure of manager Martin Carruthers and, despite suffering an Emirates FA Cup shock exit on Tuesday night on penalties to United Counties League Premier Division North side Anstey Nomads, the pair were handed the more permanent roles.

Ward, now 36, is a former Northern Ireland international forward who signed for Ilkeston in May 2022 having helped Buxton win promotion from the Northern Premier League Premier Division in 2021/22 after arriving in August 2021.

He had joined the Bucks after spending a year with Solihull Moors in the Vanarama National League.

After starting out at Aston Villa, he had spells with Torquay United, Chesterfield, where he played 67 times and scored 29 goals, and Sheffield United, where he appeared 63 times and netted 9 goals.

After a loan spell with Derby County, scoring 5 goals in 13 matches, he signed a permanent deal with the Rams in 2011, making 125 appearances and netting 29 goals and winning the first of his 35 full international caps to go with the honours earned at under-18 and under-21 level.

He then moved to arch-rivals Nottingham Forest in 2015 and scored 3 goals in 57 appearances.

The forward contributed two goals in 31 Championship appearances in his first campaign on Trentside, adding 5 assists to his game too.

The following season, however, he struggled to establish himself and joined Burton Albion on loan for the first half of the 2016/17 campaign.

Prior to his permanent departure from Forest in September 2019, he had loan spells at Cardiff City and Charlton Athletic.

After a short spell with Scunthorpe United, he returned to his home-town of Birmingham in order to play for Solihull where he scored 3 times from 21 appearances in all competitions.

Turner, 34, is an experienced centre-back who joined Ilkeston from Buxton at the same time as Ward.

He had signed for the Bucks in July 2021 from National League side Notts County, where he had been since July 2019.

He amassed almost 300 League appearances and has played in each of England’s top four tiers.

He was most recently with League Two side Mansfield Town having started his career with Coventry City, making his professional debut aged 18 in April 2006.

He joined Peterborough United on loan for the first part of the following season before returning to the Ricoh Arena in January and spending a short time at Oldham Athletic.

In 2007/08 he began to establish himself in the Coventry team. He stayed with the Sky Blues until the summer of 2011, when Cardiff City parted with a reported £750,000 to secure his services.

He enjoyed a hugely successful first season with the Bluebirds as they reached the final of the League Cup, where he scored a dramatic equaliser deep into extra-time to send the tie to penalties.

They were ultimately beaten by Liverpool.

The defender made 43 appearances during that campaign as Cardiff also qualified for the Championship play-offs but lost to West Ham in the semi-finals.

The Bluebirds won the title the following season and he made 31 Premier League appearances during 2013/14.

Injuries restricted him to just 19 appearances in all competitions over the next two campaigns with a loan at former club Coventry preceding his release from Cardiff in June 2016.

From there he moved to Burton Albion and made 99 appearances before joining Mansfield for the second half of 2018/19.

Ilkeston chairman David Hilton told his club’s website: “I cannot praise Jamie and Ben enough as they have had a really positive impact on the squad. They are the right people to take us forward”.

Ilkeston Town Web Site


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