Boost for Zola as Dixon steps up return to training

PUBLISHED: 17:45 11 March 2009 | UPDATED: 14:10 05 October 2010

Teenage striker Terry Dixon could deliver a timely boost to West Ham's injury-hit squad as he nears a return to full fitness

Teenage striker Terry Dixon could deliver a timely boost to West Ham's injury-hit squad as he nears a return to full fitness and closes on a place in the club's first-team squad.

New signing Dixon sealed an incredible return to professional football last month after joining the Hammers on a three-year deal - only 12 months after a string of horrendous injuries appeared to have finished his career.

The forward was hailed as one of the rising stars of British football when he received a senior Republic of Ireland call-up as 16-year-old in 2006, yet he was released by Tottenham in March last year following a persistent knee problem.

Now Dixon is stepping up his training with the club's reserves and Hammers boss Gianfranco Zola has told the 19-year-old that he will get a chance to prove himself and win a place in the first-team squad at Upton Park.

"Everybody keeps talking about Terry Dixon but I have not seen him play yet," Zola said. "Hopefully soon he will be training with me so I will try to have an idea about him as a footballer.

"They told me he was quite a talent and I'm really curious. This is a good opportunity for him. I think this club has been very good to him and I want to see how he takes the opportunity.

"A big satisfaction would be to see him have some success because he was ruled out from the game.

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