NICK Ward always believed he deserved another A-League contract. Yesterday, the Newcastle Jets delivered the journeyman his Christmas wish with a career lifeline. The midfielder signed for the rest of the season as an injury replacement for right back Scott Neville, who is preparing to undergo a knee reconstruction due to a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament. After clocking up 135 A-League matches with Perth, Melbourne Victory and Wellington, Ward was unwanted by Glory coach Alistair Edwards. Edwards was himself sacked last week after a player revolt due to his perceived nepotism in playing his sons Cameron and Ryan. The Perth-raised Ward had spells at Queens Park Rangers and Brighton in 2006-07, and represented Australia at under-20 and under-23 levels.&nbsp; He helped win an NSL Championship for the Glory in 2004 and was the A-League young player of the year &nbsp;in 2006, but he managed only nine starting appearances last season.&nbsp; Since April, the 28-year-old has been in footballing limbo. He moved to Sydney to be close to his girlfriend, who has a clothing business, &nbsp;and trialled &nbsp; with Western &nbsp;Sydney Wanderers. He began training with Sydney FC &nbsp;to keep himself fit if an opportunity arose in the January transfer window.&nbsp; That chance came last Wednesday when Jets coach Gary van Egmond invited Ward to start training with his side. ‘‘I never saw myself &nbsp;being without a club,’’ Ward said. ‘‘I actually thought I deserved another contract at Perth Glory. ‘‘It’s been well-documented what’s gone on over there, so you can probably read into it the way you want to, but I definitely thought I deserved another contract there.’’ Under FFA regulations, replacement players should be like for like. When Ward trialled with Wanderers he was initially earmarked for right back. However, Wanderers coach Tony Popovic believed Ward was better suited to the midfield where he had no openings on his roster. While Neville’s injury created a vacancy at right back, where Novocastrian Jacob Pepper is filling in at present, Ward sees his future at the Jets as an attacking midfielder. ‘‘I can bring the experience of playing in two grand finals. &nbsp;I’ve probably been around a bit more than I wanted to,’’ he said.&nbsp; ‘‘I think that’s something Gary has said to me, he wants a goal-scoring midfielder.’’ &nbsp;Jets veterans Emile Heskey and Kew Jaliens both missed yesterday’s training session. Heskey is overcoming a knee injury that caused him to miss the last two games against Wanderers and Brisbane, while Jaliens’s workload is being managed. Nathan Burns continued to train apart from the team with a knee injury that has kept him grounded for the past fortnight. A decision on whether Burns and Heskey travel with the team for Sunday’s game against Adelaide &nbsp;at Coopers Stadium will be made later in the week. &nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;AAP reports: &nbsp;Perth Glory interim coach Kenny Lowe has praised the character of Cameron Edwards after the midfielder put in a strong showing just days after his father’s sacking. Edwards was a solid performer in Glory’s 0-0 draw with Adelaide on Sunday, with the 21-year-old making the most of a rare start before being subbed off in the 58th minute. Cameron and his younger brother Ryan had been thrust into the spotlight after skipper Jacob Burns led a player revolt against their father Alistair, who was sacked as Glory coach last Tuesday. Alistair’s perceived favouritism towards his two sons had caused angst in the playing group. But Cameron put those issues to the side on Sunday by taking his place in the Glory midfield alongside Burns. ‘‘He worked ever so hard under immense scrutiny and immense pressure,’’ Lowe said of Cameron. Ryan was unavailable for selection after contracting a bout of gastro, but the 20-year-old is expected to be fit for the club’s December 31 clash with Central Coast at Bluetongue Stadium. Danny De Silva will also be available after missing the Adelaide game through illness. Former French international William Gallas (calf) is likely to miss the Mariners’ clash, but striker Shane Smeltz (ankle) is a chance to return. Japanese winger Ryo Nagai will undergo scans to determine how badly he tore his hamstring against Adelaide.