By Nick Lough
HAMPTON & Richmond Borough’s hotshot striker Nicke Kabamba believes he has found the keys to success this season – as he looks to swap car sales for a professional contract with a January move up the divisions.
Kabamba is one of the most-sought after young forwards in Non-League, having notched 15 goals already this season in the National League South.
However, his big chance in football could have come a lot earlier if he had followed the footsteps of his close friend, current Wycombe Wanderers defender Aaron Pierre, when he was scouted as a youngster.
“I got a chance when I was a kid, but my parents couldn’t take the time out to take me here and there due to work commitments,” said Kabamba.
“I was scouted by Fulham, Southampton and Sunderland when I was 12 to 15, but I just couldn’t go, however one of my close friends Aaron Pierre did go to Fulham, and he’s now doing really well at Wycombe.
“I grew up playing with him at Hayes & Yeading; he’d be the rock at the back and I’d bang the goals in up front.
“He’s one of my inspirations as he’s been in the league for a while now, so I’d love to follow his footsteps.”
Kabamba, who works by day at a car rental company, has seen his partner-in-crime up front at Hampton, Jamal Lowe, be snapped up by League Two heavyweights Portsmouth, while fellow National League South forward Junior Morais secured a switch to Peterborough. This time, he believes it can be him next.
“I work at a car rental company three days a week; it was four, but I’ve cut down a day to allow me to spend more time in the gym or working on my game and keeping sharp,” he added. “Jamal and Junior are both good mates of mine, and I’m delighted for them.
“Jamal and I would always get up on a Tuesday and Thursday morning to do extra sessions, and having people like that around you who are striving to do better is brilliant. They’ve both moved up, and hopefully I’ll be the next one.”
And with a host of National League and League Two sides chasing his signature, including one unnamed club from the latter who have already expressed serious interest, the 23-year-old could well be on the move this month.
“I’ve been in talks with one club [said to be an unnamed League Two side], but if it doesn’t happen then I’m still determined as ever to find the right team,” he said.
“It may happen in January, but if it has to wait until the summer then so be it. Getting a pro contract is what I’ve dreamed of, and now I know more than ever I’m ready.”