STEPHEN Ward has completed his move to Stoke City. 

The former Clarets left back, released in the summer after five years at Turf Moor, has joined on an initial one-year deal. 

He trained with the Potters on their return to pre-season today and has put pen to paper with the Championship club to become their sixth summer signing.

“I’m delighted to be here, it’s a massive club with great ambitions and I’m really happy to have joined," he said

“It’s a new club and I want to hit the ground running and hopefully we can have a really successful year.

“I’m feeling fit and strong and ready to go. 

"This club is built for the Premier League so that’s got to be the main priority this year.

“Winning promotion and having a successful season has to be our aim, and that is the base of what I’m seeing after speaking to the manager. I was really excited in what the manager had to say, his philosophy and his plan for the club. 

"As soon as I spoke to him I knew that I wanted to be here.

“I’ve had a good break, looked after myself and I’m raring to go. 

"I’m delighted to have sorted my future.”

Stoke boss Nathan Jones worked with Ward when he was on loan at Brighton and his new manager was assistant to Oscar Garcia in the 2013/14 campaign.  

“He’s a wonderful player with great experience, not least because he has won the Championship title twice," he said. 

“I’ve worked with Stephen in the past when he was on loan at Brighton and I know that technically he’s very, very good."

Ward has become Stoke’s sixth new arrival after they confirmed five signings ahead of the start of pre-season training.

Adam Davies, Jordan Cousins, Nick Powell and Lee Gregory have arrived as free transfers and Liam Lindsay from Barnsley for a fee in the region of £2m.

Ward joined the Clarets from Wolves in 2014 where he started his career and won promotion in 2009. 

The 50-cap Republic of Ireland international then went on to do the same with the Clarets in 2016, cementing his status as a Turf Moor favourite. 

In total Ward played 113 times for the Clarets, scoring four goals.

He made just 11 appearances last season however having had knee surgery in October which saw Charlie Taylor become first-choice at left back.

Boss Dyche said of his departure: “Wardy’s been brilliant for us, absolutely brilliant, he’s done a fantastic job.”

He was one of the few players to leave the club at the end of their contracts at the end of last season. 

Goalkeeper Anders Lindegaard was released and Jon Walters retired while Peter Crouch continues to weigh up his future with the out of contract veteran not ruling out retirement.