Andre Dozzell will return from European Championships better for Ipswich Town, says dad Jason
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Teenage prodigy Andre Dozzell will return to Ipswich Town a far better player following his exploits for England at the European Under-19 Championships this summer, says his father Jason.
Dozzell Junior started all three of the Young Three Lions’ impressive group wins against Bulgaria (2-0), Holland (1-0) and Germany (4-1) out in Georgia, but suffered an impact injury to his hip in last Sunday’s victory and faces a fitness battle to be involved in tonight’s semi-final clash with the Czech Republic (5.15pm ko, Eurosport).
“I couldn’t have asked for much more,” enthused Jason, a teenage Town star himself back in the ‘80s.
“Because he’s playing up an age group (Andre only turned 18 in May) I wasn’t heading out there expecting Andre to start all the games. He must have trained well and impressed the manager though because he’s got in and stayed in – and that’s some achievement given the talent in this group.”
Former Copleston High School pupil Dozzell burst on the scene with a goal-scoring senior debut for the Blues aged 16, just like his father had done in 1984.
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He was restricted to seven starts and two substitute appearances last season though and will be hoping for more game-time in 2017/18, despite facing increased competition from new signings Emyr Huws, Tom Adeyemi and the fit-again Teddy Bishop.
“It’s been an invaluable experience for him learning about how to handle competitive, tournament football,” said Jason. “The technical side of the football is unbelievably high. He’s playing against some of the best young players in the world and that can only benefit him in the long-term.
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“He’s playing a different style of football to what he’s experienced in the Championship. It’s all possession-based, there’s a lot of play in midfield and you’ve got to be really, really good on the ball in tight situations. Andre’s been playing a deep role, getting lots of the ball and done well.
“He’s been receiving treatment. I’m just hoping he’ll be okay to play in the semi. Obviously the team did well after he came off in the Germany game (15 minutes), so there’s no guarantee he will keep his place either.
“I watched all the games live, but had to fly home on Monday. I’ll watch the semi on TV and get straight back on a plane out there again if we reach Saturday’s final.”