NICKE KABAMBA is eyeing more first-team progress as his Pompey flying start continues at pace.
The January arrival from Hampton & Richmond has enjoyed a confident start to life at Fratton Park.
The first season is about trying to settle in and getting into the team. Hopefully next season I can really push forwardNicke Kabamba
Last weekend he collected a prized Football League debut, after appearing as a second-half substitute at Stevenage.
Kabamba has also netted in each of his four Blues reserve appearances to date, most recently against Sheffield United on Tuesday night.
It has been an eye-catching impact from the 23-year-old, who quit his car salesman job to join Pompey.
And the bubbling striker is eager not to slow down in his pursuit of regular first-team football.
He said: ‘My confidence is sky high and I’m in a good place right now.
‘I’ve gone into the Football League with a team that’s hopefully getting promoted to League One – it’s the best position I could have been in.
‘It was brilliant making my debut on Saturday, even though we lost.
‘To finally get my first game was a fantastic feeling, playing in the Football League is what any young footballer aspires to.
‘Just to come on to that pitch and touch the ball was a great feeling.
‘The gaffer told me: “don’t have nerves, enjoy yourself, keep doing what you did to get here and you’ll be given a chance – now this is your chance”.
‘I felt I did alright. Coming on at that stage the game was done, Stevenage were on top, so it was about keeping the ball.
‘I believe if you haven’t got the ball you should make sure you work for it.
‘Now I must make sure I get more starts and try to push forward, getting into the first team more often.’
On Saturday, Kabamba entered the field on 64 minutes for Noel Hunt to make his bow.
Then 48 hours later he netted the only goal in the Premier League Cup victory over Sheffield United under-23s.
He struck in the 80th minute, bundling the ball home from close range after Jamal Lowe’s shot was initially saved.
Mikey Harris’ reserve side will now face Colchester in the quarter-finals.
Kabamba added: ‘The gaffer always says to make sure you have good habits. You must try to get on the scoresheet in any game – whether reserves or first team – just to make sure you are pushing forward.
‘Against Sheffield United, it was a striker’s instinct, as soon as Jamal took his shot I followed up and bundled it in.
‘I have to keep doing it and hopefully take the goals into the first team.
‘I have adjusted to life at the club now, training every day and doing the gym work. I’ve put on a bit of size and it’s going well.
‘The first season is about trying to settle in and getting into the team.
‘Hopefully next season I can really push forward.’