Wynter keen to follow former Blues star

Joel Ward. Picture: Steve Reid
Joel Ward. Picture: Steve Reid

Alex Wynter is keen to follow in the footsteps of former Pompey favourite Joel Ward.

The defender is on loan from Crystal Palace for the season – the club Ward joined from Pompey for £400,000 in 2012.

The Emsworth talent was one of the real success stories to emerge from the club’s first stint in administration.

He burst into the first team under Avram Grant and then became a regular under Steve Cotterill and Michael Appleton before enjoying perhaps the highlight of his Blues career by netting the equaliser in the south coast derby draw with Southampton.

But after the club’s relegation from the Championship and financial meltdown in the wake of CSI’s collapse, Ward had little choice but to depart.

But Wynter has seen Ward’s workrate and dedication at close hand and sees the 24-year-old as an example to follow.

Wynter said: ‘Joel Ward is a model professional.

‘He is someone I can look up to when I’m there at Palace.

‘I know if I gave him a call, he wouldn’t have any qualms about talking to me and giving me a bit of advice.

‘I didn’t get a chance to speak to him about coming to this club before I came down but he always had nothing but praise for the club. He loved it down here.

‘He is definitely someone I would like to follow because you can see how hard he works.

‘He has a great attitude and has established himself in the Premier League.

‘The next step for him is to look for an England call-up, which I think he deserves.

‘They have got some great professionals and some real leaders there in that group at Palace.

‘Joel is definitely one of them.’

Wynter’s development can certainly draw parallels with the former Blues star.

Both came through the youth ranks at their respective clubs as central defenders but have since shown versatility to adapt to roles out wide.

Although the Londoner returns to the capital regularly, he is enjoying life with Pompey.

And he believes he is improving all the time as he gains more experience of first-team football.

Wynter said: ‘I go back every now and then to see family and friends and you forget the hustle and bustle of London.

‘It is so much quieter down here. But I love it.

‘I’m enjoying it down here.

‘I feel I am getting better as a player all the time and getting a lot of useful experience.

‘As a team, it has just not quite been happening for us lately.

‘But I’m sure we will start getting a bit of consistency and picking up a few wins.

‘We’ve had a lot of draws and it’s about turning some of those into wins.

‘We are working hard on the training ground, so we know it will turn around.’