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Dozzell on Track for Pre-Season Return
Thursday, 22nd Mar 2018 11:35

Midfielder Andre Dozzell says everything is on track so he will be able to play a full part in pre-season ahead of the 2018/19 campaign. The 18-year-old’s season was ended on the opening day when he suffered a torn cruciate knee ligament during the game against Birmingham City.

“Yes, definitely,” the England U19 international told BBC Radio Suffolk when asked if he’d be able to play a full part in pre-season.

“I don’t like looking too far forward but hopefully if all goes to plan the latest will be pre-season.”

The former Copleston High School pupil recently progressed to training on the grass at Playford Road.

“I’m now going outside, it’s feeling good at the moment,” he added. “I started going outside the other day.

“It felt a bit odd at first running, but as do it more often it starts to feel good, starts to feel more normal, although I’m blowing after a few runs, but that will come in due time.”

Has it been mentally tough? “I’ve had a lot of support from my family, the physios have been brilliant, but mentally it’s been pretty straightforward.

"I’ve had a few, not setbacks as such, but a few niggles here and there, but nothing major, it’s all been straightforward.

“I’ve been going to the David Lloyd gym quite a lot for swimming to get my fitness up and trying to get more muscle on me, but since I’ve been going outside it’s been different, it’s been quite hard to be honest.”

The academy product had praise for the Town medical team: “They’ve been great, they’ve been pushing me as well, trying to get me back out there. They’ve been keeping me positive.”

And he says manager Mick McCarthy and the squad have also helped to keep his chin up: “When I went outside to train for the first time they gave me a nice reception, giving me some banter.”

Father Jason, now a coach at the academy, having had experience of being injured during his career has also been beneficial: “Obviously he had a few injuries himself so he can tell me what it’s like, how to get back fit.

“You’ve just got to keep doing your rehab 100 per cent because if you don’t do it 100 per cent, when you’re back you could even do it again or do other injuries.”

He says ball-work will follow in due course: “I think in a few weeks or so but I’m not looking too far ahead at the moment, I’m taking it step by step.”

Dozzell admits he’s been frustrated having been unable to play for the best part of eight months: “I’ve missed it a lot. It would be great to be back out there with lads but I’ve just got to keep focused, keep working hard and hopefully I’ll be back out there next season.”

Was he aware how bad the injury was at the time? “Obviously I got the first knock and that was quite painful but the pain just went so I thought ‘play on’ and didn’t feel normal but thought I was fine, I even got on the ball after that and started running. But just when I twisted it absolutely went I knew then that it wasn’t good.

“It was a big blow [when I was told the extent of the injury] because it was a big season for me and I was looking to cement my place in the first team. But football isn’t straightforward, you’ve just got to deal with things like that and hopefully go again.”

The midfielder says he had a lot of support on social media from fans and also the Birmingham City team.

“Even a few Birmingham players sent me messages which was good,” he recalled. “That kept my hopes up and I just had to stay focused and come back as quickly as I can.

“They sent me messages on Twitter, which was a nice touch from them because they didn’t have to do that, but obviously when you see another player injured and out for the season it’s not nice.”

He says he has talked to another Playford Road graduate who has been in a similar positions: “I spoke to Connor Wickham, he did his knee, although a different injury, but he just told me that it’ll all be worth it in the end, you’ve just got to keep working hard, keep your head down.”

Despite the injury setback Dozzell says he sees no reason why he shouldn’t go on to fulfil his potential.

“I’m young and I’ve got a lot of times on my hands and when I see people who have done their ACL and come back and they’re still playing well, that gives me more confidence,” he continued.

Having followed in his dad’s footsteps and made his goalscoring debut aged only 16 at Hillsborough in April 2016 - “It was like it was always going to happen, both 16 years old, both playing for Ipswich, it was crazy” - Dozzell junior admits he was disappointed not to play more the following season.

“Yes, definitely, but obviously you’ve got to win the trust of the gaffer and if you’re not playing then you’ve just got to keep working hard and try and show the gaffer why he should be playing you,” he added.

While he has been working on returning to fitness fellow youngsters Tristan Nydam, 18, and Flynn Downes, 19, have broken into the first team.

“They’ve done brilliantly,” Dozzell enthused. “They’ve been getting call-ups for England and getting a lot of game time for Ipswich, which will help their improvement.

“We’re all young but we’ve all got a lot to improve. You see a lot of people when they’re young play a few games here and there but don’t go on to make a career, so we’ve just got to keep working hard and hopefully get more games under our belts.”

Could the three of them work together in a Town midfield in the years to come? “I think so definitely, Flynn gets about, Tristan gets about, we all work hard and that’s what the gaffer likes.”

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rfretwell added 11:45 - Mar 22
Great news from a tremendous young player.

shoopdelang added 12:26 - Mar 22
Was this a match against Birmingham veterans? Kin hell the guy looks about 53

dirtydingusmagee added 12:52 - Mar 22
good news, he will be keen to get back playing, Just hope he dosnt try to get back too quickly and suffer setback. GOOD LUCK to him .

hampstead_blue added 12:59 - Mar 22
Having three young midfielders like this in the squad is so exciting.

I hope they get strong neck muscles. Watching the ball sail over your head can make you giddy.

brendanh added 13:02 - Mar 22
If he's anything like Downes, he'll end up playing lower league football while we'll get a dead-end journeyman on loan in his place. Welcome to strategic Ipswich in 2018. Think I can hear Sir Bobby Robson turning in his grave.

midastouch added 13:07 - Mar 22
Would love to see him and Downes cementing regular starting places next season. He's due a change of luck so I hope things go for him next season. Used to love watching his dad play for us in his prime, if he's anything like as good as his dad then it will be great for as long as it lasts.

Edmundo added 13:19 - Mar 22
Nailed on midfield combination of Dozzell, Downes and Nydam. If we have a manager who trusts youth and allows creativity. We have the players. Just need the support from above.

itsonlyme added 14:55 - Mar 22
Let's all be positive. Great news and he will be a thorn in many opposition sides when he rightfully takes his place in the first team. Whoever our manager is next season, he must give the lad plenty of time on the pitch. Probably the most exciting thing to look forward to next season.

Steve_ITFC_Sweden added 15:58 - Mar 22
If Mick is still here, I doubt André will get regular playing time. On the other hand, for once maybe that will be a good thing as he will need to be careful not to overdo things at the start. Good luck André. All Town fans want to see you back in that shirt as soon as possible.

BlueBlood90 added 16:52 - Mar 22
A bit of much needed positive news. I don't mind seeing us in mid table obscurity if we're planning for a future by playing the likes of Downes, Dozzell and Nydam most weeks instead of old 30+ year old freebies. Bring in Emyr Huws alongside them and we could see a much more creative midfield next year.

therein61 added 17:55 - Mar 22
Good news young man, we have several young midfielders who would have been given game time before now(under previous managers who liked to see football played in a correct manner) but they are farmed out because our great leader cannot see further than the premiership class favourite no/8 who will still(with no/4) be the first on the team sheet for the next two seasons(if he is still our so called manager heaven help us!!!) this blinkered attitude has ruined our club and the fact that these two have been handed another 2 years as over paid imitation footballers(they would not make the bench under a forward thinking manager) probably means we are stuck with the foul mouthed fan hater as well GOD HELP I.T.F.C.

Edmundo added 19:03 - Mar 22
Good call Blue blood, I forgot about Huws!

jas0999 added 19:15 - Mar 22
Good. Could be a key, regular player next season. Surely the likes of Hyam and particularly Gleeson will depart. Bishop also very injury prone.

Laxfield_Llewellyn added 19:26 - Mar 22
Hopefully this is excellent news for our next manager.

Pilgrimblue added 20:02 - Mar 22
Excellent news but remember Mick will be playing Skuse first if he stays. We need a group of midfielders who can create a unit that will give us box to box and not sitting in front of defense with sideways/backwards only passes. So hoping this will rely on Dozzel/Downes
Nydam/Huws/Adeyemi and maybe Bishop.

OwainG1992 added 06:44 - Mar 23
I think it was obvious he was going to play plenty of football this season if he didn't get hurt. Can we not view this is a positive rather than another go at Mick etc? We all want a change of regime but my god every single article?

Currie10 added 08:16 - Mar 23
Amen Owain.

bugledog123 added 09:39 - Mar 23
Great news!

BeattiesBackPocket added 10:21 - Mar 23
OwainG I think the point is he played at the start due to injuries to Adeyemi and Huws if they are both fit he probably wouldn't be given that chance as Skuse is ALWAYS a first start no matter what. I don't think its necessarily a go at the manager but its a fact we have good kids who only get in the team when others are injured even though they're probably better than those keeping in the team no matter how they play. Maybe.
This is great news though the kids clearly talented and the team needs to be built around these younger guys, Dozzell, Nydam, Downes, Webster with others like Morris at least on the bench and getting involved. With good pros like Huws, Garner etc and these kids im still of the opinion we have a team to be challenging alot higher.

cornishblu added 13:34 - Mar 23
Great like having a new signing fir the new manager COYB

positivity added 17:17 - Mar 23
i think the new manager will probably also play skuse, the difference will be he won't play him with gleeson AND hyam! all teams need a solid defensive midfielder, downes looks like he has that potential, but we can't expect him to play week-in week out for another year or 2

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