England Under-17s midfielder discusses that winning feeling

Thursday 27 Aug 2015
Andre Dozzell in action against Italy
Having tasted success with England in April, midfielder Andre Dozzell is hungry for more as he prepares to face Turkey at Walsall on Friday.

The Ipswich Town youngster helped the Under-17s begin their campaign with a 3-0 victory over Italy in the UEFA International Tournament on Wednesday.

With Portugal recording a 2-0 win over Turkey at St. George’s Park earlier, the Young Lions sit top of the group on goal difference as they head into the second round of matches.

England v Turkey

UEFA U17s International Tournament 7pm, Friday 28 August 2015
Banks's Stadium, Walsall FC
Tickets: £3 adults, £1.50 kids

And although it may only be a “friendly” competition, after winning the Montaigu Tournament earlier in the year, Dozzell and his team-mates are determined to finish as victors.

“It was important to get off to a good start – we have learned that from previous tournaments last season,” the 16-year-old told TheFA.com.

“The Montaigu Tournament that we won, we got off to a good start there, but previously in the UEFA Tournament at St. George’s Park, we lost the first game and found it much harder to get back into it.

“We feel like we have a bit of momentum coming off the back of last season, and winning 3-0 against a side like Italy only gives you more confidence and we are just looking forward to the next game now.”

Despite their tender years, the spirit within the squad is already “club-like” according to Dozzell, and that bond plus the competitiveness in each individual is driving the team on.


Andre Dozzell's dad played for Ipswich and Spurs

“When we are not with England we are still always talking to each other via texts and keeping in touch,” he revealed.

“We enjoy playing with each other and it is great playing together in front of crowds now, hopefully there will be another good one at Walsall.

“The Turkey game will be difficult, we beat them in Montaigu, so they will want payback but we will be ready. We have beaten some top teams like France and Italy, so we are confident that we can keep that going, not just this week but when the Euro Qualifiers start.

“Whatever tournaments we go into, we want to win it.”

An experienced head and word of advice is never far away for Dozzell either as he looks to continue his development with his country and Ipswich.

His father Jason was a popular midfielder for the Tractor Boys and Tottenham Hotspur during the nineties.

“I was too young to see him play but he has showed me a few videos and I’ve seen Premier League years,” said Dozzell junior. 

HIGHLIGHTS: England 3-0 Italy

“He tells me that I play like he used to and that I run like him.

“So maybe I do have some of the same attributes, but I reckon that I’m a bit quicker than he was.”

Andre showed a coolness inside the area that Dozzell senior would have been proud of himself back in his heyday when providing the assist for the opener against Italy.

After meeting a pass down the right of the area, the youngster showed great patience and awareness to pick out the right option and roll the ball back for Adam Lewis to unleash a drive from 20 yards.

“It was obviously good getting an assist,” he said. 

“After I’d been played in I was going to cross it, but I looked and saw that there were more defenders than our one attacker in the middle.

“I knew it wasn’t really on, so I was patient and cut back, saw Adam running on and realised he would have a better opportunity. I laid it back for him and he just hit it.

“I’ve seen him do that quite a lot in training, he is decent at shooting from outside the box, but it was good to see him to that in a game.”

By Gary Stonehouse Staff Writer at St. George's Park