‘I’ve seen him change as a person. I think he could come back stronger’ – Jason on Andre
- Credit: Archant
Andre Dozzell can come back stronger than ever for Ipswich Town, says his dad Jason.
The teenage midfielder’s star was massively on the rise this time last year, but, just three weeks after being part of the England squad which won the European U19 Championships, he suffered a cruciate knee ligament injury in the Blues’ Championship opener against Birmingham City at Portman Road.
Now the 19-year-old is back training with the first team after almost a year on the sidelines and has his sights on being available for the visit of Blackburn Rovers on August 4.
“He’s done loads and loads of running, he’s done loads of ball work, but it’s been almost a year since he’s had any meaningful contact so they are just going to have to ease him back in with regards that,” said Jason, who himself played more than 400 games for the Blues.
“I’ve spoken to Paul Hurst and he feels the same. They won’t rush him. There are still a number of weeks to be ready for the first game of the season. That’s always been his aim.”
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He continued: “He went to Qatar to work with (orthopaedic and sports medicine) specialists at the end of last season. The Ipswich physios have taken him for sessions, (strength & conditioning expert) Nino Severino has helped him with his footwork, he’s been at Pipers Vale doing gymnastics, I’ve done him some technical sessions...
“He’s been doing three sessions a day and then going to David Lloyd to do more himself. I promise you, he’s cut no corners with his rehab. They say you only get out what you put in, well if that’s the case then he has got no worries.
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“He’s itching to get back out there and, if anything, he’s maybe wanting to do too much.
“They pulled him out of a training game the other day and he had a little bit of a sulk, but I think that’s good to see.”
Jason added: “I always knew he had the ability and now I know he’s got the drive.
“The injury felt like the end of the world for him at the time, but it could actually end up being a blessing in disguise. He’s tougher mentally now.
“I’ve seen him change as a person. I do think he could come back stronger than ever.”
Jason Dozzell believes Trevoh Chalobah will be a good signing for the Blues and has provided an insight into another youth international to have been linked to the club.
The former Town midfielder turned coach was out in Georgia last summer to watch his son Andre play a key role in the Three Lions winning the European U19 Championships.
Chalobah – who became new Blues boss Paul Hurst’s first signing when joining on a season-long loan from Chelsea – was also part of that team.
“Trevoh played centre-back in that tournament and was outstanding,” said Dozzell. “I know they rate him very highly at Chelsea and I think he’ll be a really good signing for us. He’s a footballer, he’s strong and he reads the game.
“I don’t know if the manager has brought him in to play in defence or CDM (central defensive midfielder).”
Ipswich could have as many as four players at this summer’s European U19 Championships, which take place in Finland later this month, with Chalobah and Dozzell still eligible and Tristan Nydam and Flynn Downes having both been capped at that level last season.
There’s talk that number may rise to five, with Fulham’s Tayo Edun having been linked to a loan switch to the Blues.
“That’s interesting,” said Dozzell. “He played in the middle with Andre last summer. He got about the pitch and was neat and tidy on the ball. They complemented each other well.”