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Five players that impressed over Posh's pre-season

Peterborough United are just days away from beginning their 2021/22 Championship campaign.
joe-ward-posh
Joe Ward is among the five players to have impressed in Posh's pre-season campaign

After eight years away, Posh will announce their return to the Championship when they travel to Luton Town on Saturday afternoon.

Preparations for the long-awaited return have been well underway for a month with a pre-season programme that saw Darren Ferguson's men travel to Stamford AFC - and to the Champions of Europe.

While pre-season is usually focused on improving match sharpness for the regular first-team players, it’s also the opportunity for fringe players or youngsters to impress the manager and force their way into the starting 11.

Here are five players that impressed in Posh's pre-season schedule:

Joe Ward

The athletic right-back was one of Posh's standout players last season when the club secured promotion to the Championship, collecting 13 assists in 37 League One games – the second-highest in the division.

Ward is an instrumental part of Darren Ferguson’s three at the back system, providing width and pace on the right-hand side, and pre-season has shown that the 25-year-old is ready to compete in one of Europe’s most competitive divisions. The winger has scored three goals, all coming in the opening two friendlies against Bedford Town and Stamford AFC.

With Marriott and Clarke-Harris expected to lead the line, his goal-scoring responsibilities won’t be as essential in the Championship this season - but the pair will be hoping Ward can replicate his pinpoint deliveries.

Ethan Hamilton

Since joining the club last summer, the former Manchester United academy player has endured a stop-and-go season with the Posh in League One, starting just 13 games out of 34.

But the midfielder played a vital part in helping Ferguson’s men secure promotion to the Championship, replacing the injured Jack Taylor throughout March.

Unfortunately, the 22-year-old's game-time could become even more limited after the arrival of former Posh loanee Josh Knight from Leicester City and Lincoln City’s Jorge Grant.

However, Hamilton has quietly enjoyed a good pre-season in front of the eyes of Ferguson, notably scoring twice in a behind-closed-doors friendly at Oxford United.

With Knight barely featuring in pre-season due to illness and Jack Taylor unlikely to play after a small hamstring scare last weekend, Hamilton could be given with the opportunity of being in the starting 11 against Luton Town.

Ronnie Edwards

While pre-season is an opportunity for regular first-team members to gain match sharpness ahead of the new season, it also provides youngsters with the chance to showcase their ability to the manager and force their way into selection. That's what the next three players have done.

18-year-old Ronnie Edwards has only featured five times for Posh since signing for the club back in January 2020, but he certainly caught the eye of supporters and the management team. Ferguson confirmed at the beginning of pre-season that he expects Edwards to play a part in the Championship.

The teenager has furthered his chances of first-team football after an excellent pre-season campaign that has not only seen him in his natural position at centre-back but also in midfield.

Edwards signed a new deal at the Weston Homes Stadium at the beginning of July with expectations of a big season from the former Barnet FC player.

harrison-burrowsHarrison Burrows also makes Paolo's list of impressive pre-season Posh players. By PA Images

Harrison Burrows

Unlike Edwards, Harrison Burrows enjoyed his breakthrough season at Posh in their promotion campaign. The academy graduate played 39 games in all competitions last season and contributed seven assists – the third-highest at the club behind Siriki Dembele and Ward.

It seems Burrows' impressive form has carried into pre-season; he picked up a brace against Bedford Town at the beginning of July and was a constant threat for Posh throughout their pre-season programme.

The 19-year-old's versatility could also become a huge asset for the club in the Championship. Prominently a left-back, Burrows can also play in midfield, behind the striker and as an attacking winger, with plenty of chances expected to fall to the academy graduate throughout the season.

Aaron Powell

At the beginning of pre-season, Aaron Powell would have been a name that Posh supporters were not familiar with. But after some exciting performances over the past month, he has become another highly-regarded youngster from the academy.

Powell, 18, joined Posh three years ago following his release from Norwich City and has been part of the under-18 team that have won back-to-back league titles, with his performances earning a new two-year deal at the Weston Homes Stadium.

Since then, the 18-year-old has featured regularly for the first-team in their pre-season programme, especially catching the eye in a 45-minute appearance against Bedford Town.

He also claimed an assist for Idris Kanu in the 3-2 victory over Barnet.

Powell, who plays as a full-back, isn’t expected to be handed to many opportunities in the Championship but an impressive pre-season has certainly given him the chance to feature in cup competitions and continue his development with the first-team.