Kabamba eyes Pompey first-team breakthrough

Nicke Kabamba celebrates scoring in Pompey's pre-season friendly win against Newport IW with Ben Close Picture: Neil Marshall
Nicke Kabamba celebrates scoring in Pompey's pre-season friendly win against Newport IW with Ben Close Picture: Neil Marshall
Brett Pitman. Picture: Joe Pepler

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Nicke Kabamba has set his sights on a first-team breakthrough after unleashing a five-goal Pompey salvo.

The striker blitzed a seven-minute hat-trick as the Blues racked up an 8-0 win at Newport IW last night.

It continued the winning run for Kenny Jackett’s men in pre-season as they showcased their attacking quality against the islanders.

The impressive Jamal Lowe grabbed a double, with the once-again lively Milan Lalkovic also on the scoresheet for the visitors.

But it was the quality of Kabamba’s work which Pompey fans were talking about as he made it seven goals to date in pre-season.

The 24-year-old feels he has laid down a marker of what he is capable of producing following his step up from non-league football last term.

Now the hit man is hungry for playing time in League One next term as he continues a dream move into the pro ranks.

Kabamba said: ‘We’ve got a lot of healthy competition, so you have to make sure you’re playing well, consistently and scoring goals.

‘I feel I’ve been doing that for the last few weeks, so I need to bring that into the season now.

‘I think I’ve shown that I can score goals.

‘So I need to stay consistent, and if I can stay consistent I should get a chance in the first team.

‘Then I can start banging in some goals in League One.

‘It’s all happening for me at present, so I have to embrace it and move forward.

‘It was nice for me to sign my pro deal, but now I feel I have to show that I’ve got it.

‘I’m trying to do my best, score goals and stay in the team.

‘I want to score goals. The aim is to get in the team and score goals. That’s what I’m about.’

Kabamba has a lot of healthy competition for a starting spot as the countdown to the season opener against Rochdale on August 5 continues.

Curtis Main, Conor Chaplin and Michael Smith are the other out-and-out attacking options at the club.

Meanwhile, Jackett’s resources up front were boosted further by the capture of Brett Pitman from Championship Ipswich last week.

Pitman’s been handed the captain’s armband and will be expected to start against The Dale.

Kabamba knows he has a challenge to make the breakthrough – but it’s a task he’s tackling head on.

He added: ‘There are always going to be quality players in my position.

‘So it’s just about keeping it together – and if you get that chance you have to take it.

‘We’ve got a hungry squad and everyone is pushing for inclusion.

‘It’s not just me, everyone collectively as a squad wants to be showing what they can do in League One.

‘We’re firing on all cylinders and building up nicely for the season.’