CANVEY Island legend Steve Ward says he will put a stop to Canvey’s leaky defence having taken up the post of assistant manager at the club.

Ward has joined from Maidstone United having left the club at the start of August and returns to the club he spent more than a decade playing for between 1996 and 2006, making more than 700 appearances.

The 43-year-old, who also played for the club between 2010 and 2012, rejoins to work alongside manager Danny Heale, coach Brad Wellmen and club director John Batch – and he will be on the touchline this Saturday, as the Gulls host VCD Athletic.

And the well-respected former centre back said he would be looking to address a defence that has conceded 13 goals in the past five games, including five at his former club Maidstone last weekend.

“There is a lot that needs to be done,” said Ward. “But I believe the team has all the ingredients to go on and have a successful season. Whereas a lot of the performances in defeat have been good, we were really poor last weekend.

“Saying that, it is a good group of boys and the play-offs is a realistic target for this team. The team has played some really nice football at times and if we can tighten a few things up at the back we will go up the league.”

Ward, who lives in Kent, said he would be unable to attend all training sessions due to family commitments, but added he wanted to get to know all the players to help them develop.

“I have only played against a few of them (Jay Curran and John Easterford) but I know quite a bit about the team. I try to be positive in every aspect of my life and I want the players to enjoy their football.

“I have a lot of knowledge and experience and I hope that will be enough to contribute to their success.

“But ultimately it’s all about the players and once they step over the white line it is their job to put what they have learned into practice.”