Dan Ward's hunger for success is one factor that made him a key target for Oldham Athletic.

Latics boss David Unsworth has been impressed by the defender's work ethic, versatility, attacking attributes and his willingness against the ball.

But in addition to all of that it is a desire to develop his career that has struck a chord.

Having initially been schooled at Newcastle United, the 25-year-old went on to help Gateshead to the National League North title and an FA Trophy final appearance in consecutive seasons before taking up the offer of a move to Boundary Park.

It is where he is looking for his career to progress again, with Latics building a squad that they feel is capable of pushing for a return to the Football League.

And Unsworth sees Ward as a major part of it.

"Dan played really well against us in all the games last season. Even though Gateshead were towards the bottom I felt that was always a false position for the team," the Latics boss explained.

"Dan really impressed us with the way he gets on the ball, the way he tracks back; he can play off the left, off the right, he can play in a midfield three. He's a workaholic, a great lad and he was desperate to come, which means a lot to me. I know I keep saying it but it means a lot when these players pick up the phone and they're desperate to come to Oldham.

"I think we need that; I think we need that hunger of Dan going to the next level. "So at every level he's taken on the challenge and excelled and I fully expect him to do that for us and play his part next season.

"He's a great lad, great age and he'll be a really good signing for us."

And Ward is keen to repay his new manager's faith in him.

"I've had a really good chat with the manager and there's a great feel about the place and that's what he's trying to create. I'm here to join that and I think that's massive," he said.

"I can play in a few different positions but wherever I play bring a real energy and intensity to the game "Ultimately wherever I'm playing I'm just here to win football games and that's the main thing."

Ward, who scored six league goals last season, added that is an area he is keen to keep contributing to.

"Goals and assists, I try to chip in with my fair share and get up to support the front men. I think that's where I'm best," he said.

"I'm so excited, it's a massive club and I'm so happy to be here. Being around the place everyone's buzzing."