Former Portsmouth strikers James Vaughan and Nicke Kabamba face up to new realities following season's end

Former Pompey strike duo James Vaughan and Nicke Kabamba are facing up to new futures following the conclusion of their respective teams’ seasons.

Thursday, 27th May 2021, 3:41 pm
Updated Thursday, 27th May 2021, 3:48 pm

Four days after Vaughan’s Tranmere side lost to Morecambe in their League Two play-off semi-final, the 32-year-old has announced his retirement from the game.

And with Kilmarnock still licking their wounds following their defeat to Dundee in the Premiership play-off final, the club have announced that Kabamba is one of 10 players they are releasing as they prepare for life outside the Scottish top flight for the first time in 28 years.

Both players can count the Blues among their former clubs, although their paths never cross when at Fratton Park.

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Vaughan made 11 loan appearances without scoring during the second half of the 2018-19 season.

Meanwhile, Kabamba failed to net in any of his six Pompey outings after be signed from non-league Hemel Hempstead in January 2017.

‘It was a tough decision but I’ve had a really good career,’ Vaughan told Sky Sports.

James Vaugha, left, and Nicke Kabamba

‘It just felt that now was the right time to hang up the boots.

‘I always tried my hardest and tried to get a few goals this season. But your mind and body tell you when it’s time to call it a day and I felt like I was at the end of it now.

‘I’m just looking forward to the future. I love football, it’s all I know and I want to be a part of it.

‘I’ve enrolled on a sporting directorship degree that I’m really enjoying. That may be something I look at in the long term.

‘I’m really keen on mentoring some of the younger generation and help them, whether it’s in player representation or another form.

‘I’m really excited in helping them get to where they need to be.’

Kabamba told his followers On Twitter after his Killie release: ‘A massive thank you to all the players and staff for the last 2 years at @KilmarnockFC.

‘The support from the fans has been brilliant, I've enjoyed my time here and made some good memories. I wish you all the best for the future.’

Vaughan scored 22 goals in 38 appearances for Tranmere this season.

Kabamba netted five times in his 35 Kilmarnock outings.