Ex-car salesman Nicke motoring along well at Pompey
From the car forecourt to Fratton Park, Nicke Kabamba's career has slammed into top gear.
The 23-year-old was last week granted a dream move into the Football League when Pompey snapped him up from Hampton & Richmond.
It subsequently took a mere 14 minutes to register his maiden Blues goal, netting in the reserves’ 4-0 victory over Norwich under-23s on Monday evening.
A fortnight ago, Kabamba was working as a car salesman at Jafvans Car & Van Rental in South Harrow.
Yet following a successful two-day Pompey trial, he handed in his notice at the car rental company which had been his employers for four years.
Now the Arsenal fan is attempting to become a driving force in the professional game.
Kabamba said: ‘It has been a dream come true and really exciting.
‘I had been working for a car rental company, selling vehicles on the forecourt which were getting a bit old.
‘To be fair, I have a bit of car knowledge, and was dealing with different sorts of cars and vans such as Nissans, Transit vans, Hyundai i10s and i30s, there was a good choice.
‘It some respects, it was hard to leave, even if it meant becoming a footballer professionally.
‘I spent four years there, starting when at university, working for one day a week. After graduating I began to do more days and it became my job.
‘It was perfect, if we had a midweek game on Tuesday I would leave work early, my boss was absolutely great.
‘It’s funny because Jamal Lowe’s missus owns the company next to where I worked so I knew him from there as well.
‘He would come down to my work and we travelled to training together – like we do now at Portsmouth.
‘Everything has changed so quickly and I’m desperate to keep scoring goals.’
Kabamba caught Pompey’s eye having netted 25 goals in 36 games for the Beavers this season.
It followed on from a 19-goal return the previous campaign, after initially arriving on loan in August 2015 from Hemel Hempstead.
Whereas close friend and playing colleague Lowe emerged through Barnet’s youth system to make 12 Football League appearances, Kabamba has worked his way through the non-league.
Having started at Uxbridge, the striker also enjoyed spells at Hayes and then Burnham, maintaining an impressive goal ratio.
Now he has the opportunity to impress at Fratton Park having signed an 18-month deal with the option for a further year.
He added: ‘Pompey were initially watching Jamal and then against St Albans in December I scored twice and played well.
‘It turned out I scored in all the games they came to watch so impressed them, earning me a trial for two days.
‘Since signing I’ve been staying at the Royal Beach Hotel in Southsea, but I’m soon getting keys for a place with my missus in Southsea.
‘Jamal’s also living with his missus down there, so we meet up in the mornings to travel to training together.’