Exclusive: Hartlepool United in talks to make star striker deal permanent

Nicke Kabamba's Pools deal is up at the end of the season.Nicke Kabamba's Pools deal is up at the end of the season.
Nicke Kabamba's Pools deal is up at the end of the season.
Hartlepool United loanee Nicke Kabamba is closing in on a permanent deal at the Super 6 Stadium.

The striker, on loan to the end of the season from Havant and Waterlooville, has made it clear that he’s like to stay in the North East.

And Kabamba has revealed to the Mail that talks are underway to make that deal permanent.

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“I’ve been having a word with my agent and with Higgy [Craig Hignett]” said the striker.

“Hopefully we should be able to get something sorted out.”

Kabamba has scored five goals in nine appearances since he made the move away from the south coast, helping fire Pools into a new lease of life.

The club have scored 16 goals since he made the temporary move, having only lost three games during Kabamba’s stint at the club so far.

With former Portsmouth frontman Kabamba leading the line, Pools have reached as high as 12th in the National League table.

So how is the 26 year old adapting to the area?

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“It’s been a big change because I’m from the south so the weather’s a bit crazy,” he said.

“The last game was the worst conditions I’ve ever played in due to the wind.

“Other than that it’s been OK. Obviously it’s the same level of football but yeah, it’s been really nice. I’m really enjoying my football at the moment.

“The bit I’m here to do is the shooting and finishing.”

Talking about the keys to his success, Kabamba believes a striker is only every as good as his service.

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He said: “ To be honest, I haven’t scored many individual goals - it’s been more crosses, good build up play which has broken down to me so team football and being given chances have been huge.”

Throughout his career Kabamba has played further south down the country including spells at Hayes, Hemel Hempstead and Hampton and Richmond Borough.

After scoring 33 goals across two seasons, Pompey snapped him up in the January of 2017.

He made five appearances at Fratton Park in between loan spells at Colchester United and Aldershot Town where he scored two goals in ten appearances for the National League side.

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At the start of this season he moved clubs again, but stayed on the south coast as Havant snapped him up.

In the first half of the season he played 29 times, finding the net on five occasions before his move up north.

Kabamba, who came through the youth setup at Hayes and Yeading in West London, has started every game since he headed north.

On Tuesday night Kabamba played another full 90 minutes as Pools lost 4-2 at Fylde in windy conditions.

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“That was just one of the games you’ve got to write off,” he said.

“It was frustrating that we couldn’t win the game, especially when we’ve clawed it back to 2-2 but after the third goal goes in - you’ve got to write that off and then move onto Saturday.”

Following their midweek trip across the country, Pools face another long trip this weekend when they travel to Barnet.

The relegation threatened Bees come into the game three points above the relegation places, the top place of which is held by Kabamba’s parent club, Havant.

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Hartlepool could return to 12th with a win but playoff hopes are far fetched with only eight matches left to play this season.

Meanwhile, manager Craig Hignett is hopeful Pools can hone their attacking brand of football between now and the end of the season, with their play off dreams dead.

“All we can do is win as many games as we can and see where it takes us,” he said.

“You never know in this league, it’s tough, it’s brutal and we have three games in a week to come now with a lot of travelling.

“Let’s between now and the end of the season get as many points on the board and develop a style of play so we can take that into next season.”

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