Lee aiming for big finish

Olly Lee is determined to finish 2009/10 a high after shaking off the effects of the illness which threatened to ruin his whole season.

A bout of glandular fever laid the 18-year-old midfielder low before Christmas, restricting his opportunities to shine after signing his first professional contract last summer.

Lee began the campaign well, starting two of the Hammers' opening three Barclays Premier Reserve League South fixtures in September, only to be sidelined for the next three months by the virus.

The youngster returned in January, being named among the substitutes for the FA Cup third-round meeting with Arsenal, and has made a further eight reserve-team appearances for Alex Dyer's side.

Speaking ahead of tonight's final away fixture at Wolverhampton Wanderers, Lee is happy to be healthy and back among his team-mates at Chadwell Heath.

"It's been a tough season, to be honest. It's not gone how I wanted it to go, but so far, so good. I've got a few games under my belt now and I'm going from strength to strength now and I'll be looking to push on next season.

"This season has been a bit of a write-off, so I'm just looking to make the most of the last few games and look ahead.

"Glandular fever is not nice. It keeps you in bed but it also knocks back your confidence and morale. You know all your team-mates are out training and you are stuck at home for six weeks.

"In a way, it's worse than being injured because it's got nothing to do with football. At least when you're injured, you're still around the banter and around your mates, but with this I didn't see anyone."

The Academy graduate has been rewarded with a new contract, and is eager to repay the club's faith in him by fulfilling his undoubted potential in 2010/11.

"Considering the year that I've had when I haven't played many games and haven't been training much, it's great that they have the faith in me that maybe I can push on and become the next one in the first team.

"It's been brilliant that Alex has chucked me straight back into the reserve team, too."

Lee has shown his versatility in recent weeks, lining up as a right wing-back at Arsenal before resuming in his favoured central midfield against Aston Villa and Stoke City.

"I'll play wherever Alex wants me to, but centre-mid is my position and obviously I want to be playing there most of the time. I just want to be on the pitch, though, because it's better than being sat at home ill! I'll play anywhere when called, but centre-mid is where I want to be."

Wherever he has played, Lee has made up for lost time by producing eye-catching performances, coming close to scoring his second goal of the season at Stoke a week ago.

"We've hit a nice bit of form and been really good in recent matches. It's all been based on working really hard and letting the quality come through from there, so hopefully we can push on in the last two games and win them.

"I've had my break so I'll have a short holiday and get straight back and ready for next season, ready to push on."

Kick-off at AFC Telford United's New Bucks Head stadium is at 7pm. Admission is £4 for adults and £1 for concessions.