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Crystal Palace fullback Joel Ward: Family blast had me wise up

Crystal Palace fullback Joel Ward has revealed a blast from family members set him on the road to a pro career.

The former Portsmouth defender has opened up on a moment that changed everything for him in his career prior to his move to south London.

"[It was] Someone like Huddersfield," he said referring to an FA Youth Cup clash, in an interview published on Palace's club website.

"We got beaten. We shouldn't really have got beaten. I got home and got a bit of a grilling, to be honest with you, from the old man, my brother and a family friend.

"It was essentially a message to be like: 'Well, where do you see yourself getting? What are you going to change to give yourself the best chance? How are you going to put that into practice?'

"Essentially, 'pull your finger out, because you only get one opportunity and one chance'. I remember that very clearly.

"I thought right, ok, this is serious business. If I want to make a go of this and make it my livelihood and have a career, the career that I've dreamed of, I need to make sure I take this on board."

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Paul Vegas

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