Gallen relishing enhancing Pompey striker’s raw talents

Nicke Kabamba. Picture: Joe Pepler
Nicke Kabamba. Picture: Joe Pepler
Carl Baker Picture: Neil Marshall

Knight: Pompey may already have central midfield answer

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By Nicke Kabamba’s own impressive standards, Tuesday night was extraordinary.

And Joe Gallen is relishing the opportunity to unlock the striker’s exciting raw potential.

I’m sure Nicke was signed with a development programme in mind and we are lucky to have him. He’s 6ft 2in, pretty quick and still learning

Joe Gallen

Before the Pompey XI fixture at Newport Isle of Wight, Kabamba had totalled an eye-catching seven goals in seven reserve outings.

Remarkably, Kabamba had failed to score in just one of those fixtures following his January arrival from Hampton & Richmond.

Then arrived his devastating display at St George’s Park.

Kabamba plundered five goals, including a seven-minute hat-trick, in the 8-0 hammering of the Wessex League premier division outfit.

The standard of the opposition may be taken into mitigation when analysing the quality of the tall striker’s performance.

However, for Gallen it provided another tantalising indication of the 24-year-old’s talents.

The Blues’ assistant boss said: ‘People will say “it’s only against Poole Town” or “it’s only against Newport” but it doesn’t matter.

‘As long as the ball is hitting the net, as a player and a centre-forward you feel confident.

‘You got the feeling Nicke was going to score all the chances which came his way, which included netting a couple of goals out of nothing.

‘I’m sure he was signed with a development programme in mind and we are lucky to have him. He’s 6ft 2in, pretty quick and still learning.

‘From a technical point of view, some of his goals against Newport were outstanding. The standard of football doesn’t matter, the ball hits the net in the same way.

‘It should give him so much belief and confidence for the future so he should keep going.

‘He’s got a bit to do, there are some good players ahead of him, but why not?

‘Sometimes that rawness can be a real positive. I think he can be even more of a handful, using what he’s got in terms of physique and aggression.

‘The aggressive side usually comes a bit later as players get older. It takes a bit of time – and once that clicks he could be a real good number nine.

‘There’s work to do but there is something there, you cannot deny it.

‘Already I think there has been an improvement in him but scoring goals has made him more confident.’

Since Jackett arrived, Kabamba has also scored twice at Poole Town in another Pompey XI fixture.

Yet the trip to the Ports was far from a one-man show.

And those present would have also been impressed by the attacking displays of Jamal Lowe and Milan Lalkovic, who joined Kabamba on the scoresheet.

Gallen added: ‘In that middle third you need to win the ball, be on the half turn and in pockets of space to receive it.

‘Between our attacking players there were some really good early crosses, a lot of balls fizzed across their box.

‘Their keeper did quite well in the first half and collected a few crosses but throughout we scored goals, created chances and were a threat.’