Jaze Kabia Interview John O’ Shea

Jaze Kabia is determined to play his part in helping Shelbourne establish themselves as a force in the League Of Ireland Premier Division again.

The 19-year-old is keen to embrace the opportunity he has been given at Shels.

Kabia’s father Jason played professionally in England and Malta before moving to the League of Ireland, while current Norwich star Adam Idah is also a close pal since childhood.

Now Jaze is forging his own career in the football world.

After a number of months of lockdown, Shels players have returned to collective team training recently, something which Kabia describes was a much welcome return.

Kabia: “We are all buzzing to be back in our routine of training daily.”

Kabia: “Just having other people to train with and that healthy bit of competition is what we all missed over the past 14 weeks.”

Kabia: “Not only that but we are all delighted to see each other again because we are a close group of lads.”

After breaking into first-team football with Cobh Ramblers in the League Of Ireland First Division, where he scored 8 league goals over the opening half of the 2019 season, Kabia then moved to Dublin and has been determined to grab his chance of testing himself in the top flight of Irish football.

Joining Shels in the middle of last season, Jaze made an impact right away and helped the Reds to promotion back to the top flight of Irish football.

Kabia: “Scoring the winner in our first Dublin Derby(v St Pats) back in the Premier League was a great feeling. You cannot beat a rocking Tolka Park and that night both the lads and the fans were unbelievable.

Kabia: “It was a special moment for me as well to score my first goal in the Premier League, one I won’t forget.”

Kabia: “For me personally I think it couldn’t have gone any better so far in my career at Shelbourne.”

Kabia: “Everyone at the club has made me so comfortable from day one coming into the club.”

Kabia: “And right from that moment to this current moment I have enjoyed it an enormous amount.”

Kabia: “My first impressions of the Premier League are that the standard is a lot higher.”

Kabia: “You cannot afford to make mistakes because at that level you will be punished but don’t get me wrong we have more than certainly held our own so far and we are all good enough to play in this division no doubt.”

Kabia: “We have earned the right to be playing in this Division and every single one of us knows we are where we belong.”

Kabia: “I don’t see much of a difference really. It’s difficult in both(League Of Ireland Premier and First Division). The standard is probably higher in premier because players are training full time meaning expectations are higher because a lot of work is being put in every week.”

Kabia: “The coverage of games is more frequent. In the first division, there is a lack of promotion and that is something I would like to see change going forward.”

Kabia will be hoping to continue to progress in the Premier Division at Shels and he feels it could potentially be an exciting period ahead for the Tolka Park club

Kabia: “I think the future is bright at this club. We have only come up and we are competing straight away, with the quality in our squad I wouldn’t be surprised if we snatched a European spot.”

Kabia: ” I think now the club is back where it belongs and things are only going to get better from this point on.”

Kabia’s manager at Shelbourne is a young and ambitious coach in the form of Ian Morris.

Outlining how he has found working under the Shels boss, Kabia is enjoying working and developing under the 33-year-old Morris.

Kabia: “For a young manager his professionalism and understanding of the game are fantastic.”

Kabia: “I am grateful to learn from a pro whose knowledge of the game is priceless.”

Kabia: “I am still only 19 years old and have a lot to learn so I feel I am definitely in the right place at this moment in time.”

Kabia: “I have really enjoyed playing under the manager. Personally, my development has progressed an enormous amount and I have Ian and his staff to thank a lot for that.”

Kabia: “He has shown lots of faith in me as well as the rest of the lads and we do our best to repay him with our performances on the pitch.”

Kabia: “I’m excited about the future with him as the manager because no doubt I will learn more and more every week.”

Finally, as to what he feels Shelbourne might hope to target from the rest of the 2020 League Of Ireland campaign, Kabia concludes:

Kabia: “I think we all would like to compete in Europe next year.”

Kabia: “I don’t see why we cannot push for European places, we showed at the start of the season what quality our players have and as a unit what a good side we are with a few results people didn’t expect, and I have no doubt that we will be there or thereabouts the European spots.”