Danny Ward

Ward’s Training Regimes & Parental Duty

Leicester City goalkeeper Danny Ward has been balancing fitness plans with fatherhood while Premier League football is suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
More on this story...

- Danny Ward discusses the time he has spent away from football with LCFC TV
- The Wales international goalkeeper is staying at home during the COVID-19 pandemic with his partner and six-month-old son
- Ward explains the differences in training programmes for goalkeepers and outfield players

With a significant amount of time being spent at home, every member of the Foxes squad has been sent tailored programmes to stick to in order to maintain their mental and physical wellbeing.

Ward, who joined the Football Club in 2018 from Liverpool, became a father for the first time in November and says much of his time as been spent looking after his son, Albie, with the help of his partner, Rebecca.

“I’m just trying to keep busy, trying to get my programme done in terms of training from Leicester,” he told LCFC TV.

“I’ve got a young son as well, so he keeps us busy for the majority of the day. I take the dog for a walk, stuff like that, for an hour in the morning, but apart from that, it’s just [about] trying to keep busy.

“It’s non-stop for us, really. We tend to go for a walk in the morning to try and get out and take the dog out.

“We come back, [I] do the programme that I’ve got from Leicester while looking after the little man as well, with the feeds and changing nappies and stuff, which is a joy!

“It’s just [about] trying to keep ticking over, keep busy. Obviously, it’s a tough time for everyone and it’s easier to keep on the go and keep yourself right mentally as well.”

The 26-year-old stopper says he has been enjoying more time with his family while adhering to the Government’s stay-at-home guidelines.

He said: “I love it, to be honest. Like you say, in these bad circumstances that we’re under at the minute, selfishly a positive for me is being able to spend so much time with my son.

“He’s nearly six months old now, which is time I wouldn’t really be able to have in the normal season with away games, training and such. It takes a bit of the workload off Rebecca as well.

For anyone who’s got kids, they know it’s a different kind of love and you put them first before yourself when even that means you have maybe three hours sleep in the night.

Danny Ward LCFC TV

“She’s up every morning when we’re down the training ground, doing all the feeds and changing nappies, so I think she’s happy that I’m here to pull my weight a little bit. 

“He’s got into a decent routine now, we’re just about trying to get him in his own room, so that’ll be fun for him for the next couple of weeks.

“You don’t mind. For anyone who’s got kids, they know it’s a different kind of love and you put them first before yourself when even that means you have maybe three hours sleep in the night.

“As long as they get a good night’s sleep, and they’ve got enough food and stuff, then you’re happy.”

Ward explained that the Football Club’s goalkeepers have been given slightly different training regimes to outfield players due to the type of exercises they carry out.

“It’s a different kind of fitness, so we’ve got a lot of stuff which is as you’d call ‘up and down’ exercises – a bit more explosive power,” said Ward. “As opposed to going on runs, we’ve all got Wattbikes which we’ve been sent via the Club. 

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Danny Ward
Danny Ward

All four of Danny Ward's 2019/20 appearances have come in cup competitions.

“It’s just getting the programme on there, having a good blowout on that, sweat out some of the cobwebs and then doing your programme as well. [You] get yourself in the garden too.

“On top of that, you go for walks and Rebecca has got a bit of a health-kick at the minute as well, so that’s always helpful. Actually, it’s brilliant, because she loves cooking her healthy food at the minute, which is great for me.

“In terms of Leicester, we keep in contact with the Sports Science department, the physios, all the players and management staff. They send through different sessions on a weekly basis with a schedule of what days to have off and what days are best to do what.”

During the past few weeks, Ward has discovered a new love for American sports documentaries, specifically surrounding the successes of basketball team the Chicago Bulls and American football team Dallas Cowboys.

He said: “We try and get through a few boxsets and films in our quiet time when the little man is in bed and the dog is all tired out. We have our dinner in the evening and then we try and sit down and watch something.

I watched something recently about the Dallas Cowboys on Amazon Prime, like an ‘All Or Nothing’ documentary, which again, it’s really interesting to see how these different organisations run between themselves as opposed to over here in football.

Danny Ward LCFC TV

“I’ve started watching a new thing on Netflix actually, in any minute I have to myself. It’s called The Last Dance, it’s about the Chicago Bulls in the ‘90s when they reigned supreme in the NBA.

“It’s interesting, because I’m not a big American sports fan, but recently in this lockdown, I’ve managed to find this, which I’m really enjoying.

“I watched something recently about the Dallas Cowboys on Amazon Prime, like an ‘All Or Nothing’ documentary, which again, it’s really interesting to see how these different organisations run between themselves as opposed to over here in football.”

As part of a campaign to encourage people to wash their hands for at least 20 seconds during the COVID-19 pandemic, many football teams have been taking to social media.

Ward’s former side, Huddersfield Town, did exactly that, posting a video of him sprinting the length of the pitch in 20 seconds after he saved a decisive penalty in the Championship Play-Off Semi-Final tie against Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough.

“I realised they’ve actually extended a little bit of how long it takes to run from one end of the pitch to the other, which kind of cut me short a little bit there!” he joked.

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Danny Ward
Danny Ward

The Wales international saved three penalties in a shootout against Wolverhampton Wanderers during his maiden season as a Leicester City star.

“But no, it’s lovely to have them sort of memories, especially at a time where there’s no real sport on the television which we can all enjoy. Any sort of snippet like that, it brought a smile to my face, definitely."

Ward has become known as somewhat of a penalty specialist, having saved three spot-kicks for City in the Carabao Cup against Wolverhampton Wanderers in 2018/19.

“I kind of see it as sort of a free hit for goalkeepers, if I’m being honest. Obviously, you’ve got to try and get in the striker’s head and stuff, but I kind of see it as an opportunity as opposed to a time where you could ultimately fail, or the pressure is on.

“If you take it in that sort of context, then you might get a bit nervous and overthink things. Then, the natural instincts that you have as a goalkeeper might get dampened down a little bit.

“So you just try and take it in your stride and think it’s an opportunity here to really make a name for ourselves as opposed to Vards (Jamie Vardy) or someone up the other end of the pitch and scoring winning goals.

It’s stay home, stay safe, and look after each other – not just the NHS, but people around you in communities and your own families.

Danny Ward LCFC TV

“You have to try and embrace it. I don’t think there’s any sort of magic remedy, I think you’ve just to go with your gut instinct, relax and grasp the opportunity as opposed to being scared by it.”

Finally, Ward expressed the need to look after each other during a difficult time as the country continues to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

He added: “The guidelines are there for a reason and hopefully we’re seeing now the benefit of that coming to fruition, slowly but surely.

“It’s stay home, stay safe, and look after each other – not just the NHS, but people around you in communities and your own families.

“Just stay home, we’ll get through this to the other side and hopefully we’ll get back to a bit of normality.”

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