Glory pick up Ward

Nicky Ward has joined Hyundai A-League runners-up Perth Glory - the club he played for in the competition's inaugural season - ahead of the 2012-13 campaign.

Nicky Ward has joined Hyundai A-League runners-up Perth Glory - the club he played for in the competition's inaugural season - ahead of the 2012-13 campaign.

The former Wellington Phoenix and Melbourne Victory midfielder represented the Glory in their final season in the National Soccer League in 2003/04, before playing the first A-League campaign in a purple shirt, a season in which he claimed the competition's Young Player of the Year award.

Ward, now 27, scored five goals in 21 appearances for the Glory that season, and joins the club on the back of Perth's superb run to the A-League Grand Final, when they were cruelly denied by a late Brisbane surge.

Perth head coach Ian Ferguson hailed Ward's signing as an early coup ahead of next season, expected to start in October this year.

"It's great to welcome Nick back," Ferguson said.

"Nick has great energy and drive from midfield and can play in numerous positions.

"He ticks all the boxes."

But the arrival of Ward comes following Perth's release of Chris Coyne, Todd Howarth, Josh Mitchell and Tommy Amphlett, and Ferguson said he was disappointed to have to release the quartet.

"It's been a hard day," Ferguson said.

"It's tough to let four players go because they have all been good for the club and all contributed to last season.

"Releasing the boys is certainly the toughest part of my job but we need to make these decisions.

"The four players were extremely professional and we wish them all the best."