Exeter City have announced the signing of a goalkeeper on a permanent deal from Reading. The 6ft 5in keeper Lewis Ward, aged 22 is now a Grecian. It’s understood that Lewis has signed a two year contract, and was signed for an undisclosed fee.
The keeper had loan spells at Northampton Town and Forest Green Rovers last season, said he was delighted to be joining somewhere permanently and he knew Exeter was the right place for him following a meeting with manager Matt Taylor last week. Lewis said:-
I just got a good vibe from the place,” he said. “I met the manager last week and he just gave me a real incentive to join. He said it is a real, family-based club and everyone is really together in the dressing room and that just made me really want to join.
It is nice to have a home. That is kind of what the gaffer gave me in terms of the feel of the place. I have never been to a place where I have felt at home and felt part of the dressing room because I obviously knew I was always going back to Reading. However, now it is time for me to leave and make my stamp on my own club now.
Speaking about the signing manager Matt Taylor, said:
He is a good size and he has got really good attributes. I think he is ready in terms of coming down and nailing a number one spot at a club.
He has had experience of the league, on loan at Northampton first and foremost where he didn’t get too much game time, but then at Forest Green where he played a dozen games or so.
He also played in some high-pressure games in terms of the play-offs towards the end of the season and he has previous loan spells in the National League as well.
Matt Taylor also praised Reading for their part in getting the deal over the line:-
We have got a good relationship with Reading and I must thank them in terms of the part they played in this deal. We want that relationship to stay as it is and if not keep improving, because we need to keep recruiting well. Lewis is a young player with a big future in the game and, hopefully, it is going to be case of nailing down a feeling of being wanted at a club and a feeling of value at a club and settling into a routine of playing games.
It is easier said than done. He has got to come in and make that No. 1 jersey his own and he will get the same opportunity as any other signing I make and I will be bringing in other goalkeepers to go alongside Lewis as well. However, he has got all the attributes to play at a higher standard than League Two. He has got to prove to us that he is a good goalkeeper at this level first.