Dylan Tombides back on field after fight with cancer

SCORING a goal in a pre-season friendly against non-league opposition may not count for much normally, but it means the world to West Ham United's young Aussie striker Dylan Tombides.

He's barely kicked a ball in the past year having spent much of that time fighting testicular cancer, so his strike in the Hammers' 4-2 win against Hornchurch last weekend was worth celebrating.

"I have missed playing and everything else around it ... the banter in the dressing room, getting nervous before kick-off, scoring and celebrating goals ... so to get back on the pitch was brilliant," he said.

But that's not all the 19-year-old from Perth was thrilled about.

The former Aussie under-17 representative has put pen-to-paper on a new two-year contract extension with the EPL side, a club he joined on a scholarship when he was 15.

He admitted he was worried about he might not get another one (contract) due to his lack of action since he was diagnosed with the cancer in 2011.

"There were some doubts because the management have not seen me play many minutes of football," Tombides, who has not played in the EPL yet, told APN.

"Saying that, the club has stood by me tremendously over the last two years - from the first minute I was diagnosed they were right behind me.

"They said right from the start that anything I needed was mine, so there were no issues in that concern.

"Although I wasn't training, every time I came in, the other players would all rush over to see how I was feeling, and not just the young lads, but all the way up to the first team staff.

"That was a really fantastic feeling, I never felt left out."

West Ham's coach for the clash with Hornchurch, Nick Haycock, said he was delighted to see Tombides back in action, and get on the scoresheet.

"I think he's a talent," he said.

"Dylan is also a great kid and he's a good addition to the club - it's great to have him back in the fold."

Topics:  soccer testicular cancer west ham united

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