Friends reunited for Ferdinand

Anton Ferdinand is relishing meeting a familiar face when West Ham United arrive at Coventry City on Tuesday night.

The central defender will be catching up with another Academy graduate in the shape of Elliott Ward, the towering defender with whom he forged a tremendous youth-team partnership that came to first-team fruition in the 2004/05 promotion season. While Ward left for Coventry in summer 2006, the pair remain close and Ferdinand has only fond recollections of breaking through with his good friend.

Speaking to WHUTV before the Carling Cup fourth-round tie, Ferdinand said: "I have good memories [of Elliott]. I played with him in every age group from the Under-16s and we went up to the first team. We had a great partnership. Not many people get to play with their partner in every age group and finally manage to get to the first team."

The pair, both now 22, proved their prowess in that 2004/05 run-in, adding the defensive steel that helped see the club through the Championship play-offs and the memorable 1-0 win in the Cardiff final against Preston North End. "A lot of fans will remember him for helping us to get back into the Premier League and he was a great player to play with," added Ferdinand, who also claimed he was looking forward to giving his old friend "some banter" - but only after the final whistle at the Ricoh Arena.

Log on now to hear more of Ferdinand's pre-match thoughts, including:

  • Coventry's strength
  • His admiration for Iain Dowie
  • The fierce competition at centre-back

    WHUTV also has coverage of Alan Curbishley's pre-match press conference before the trip to Coventry - along with all the weekend action. Return for post-Coventry coverage with news and views from the key players. For details of a special three-month trial offer, click here.