Cobh Ramblers striker Kabia is a young star on the rise

Cobh Ramblers striker Kabia is a young star on the rise
Picture: David Keane.

THE impressive form in front of goal of Jaze Kabia has been one of the main positive points from the 2019 campaign of Cobh Ramblers to date.

Rising up from the underage section of the St Colman’s Park club, where he was playing with the Ramblers U17s as recently as two years ago, Kabia is a young man that seems only to be continuously improving with his game.

Since making his first team League Of Ireland debut in March of 2018, there has been even more signs of Kabia progressing and getting better.

There is a real work rate and desire about Kabia to try and make it in the game of football. That was seen by the way in which he found the net for example in the recent victory over Shelbourne, when he successfully charged down keeper Dean Delany before finishing.

Kabia has started the 2019 First Division campaign in quite impressive scoring fashion and is one of the top scorers in the second tier of Irish football, having amassed a total of six league goals by the time he chats with The Echo in May.

Picture: Dave Meehan
Picture: Dave Meehan

“Yeah I’m very happy with my form. I’ve been working hard and I’m happy things are starting to come together for me, but I’m still learning.

“I personally just want to keep up this run of good form and help the team do as well as we can.

“I am delighted with my progression at the moment. Cobh Ramblers are a great club for giving young players a chance to play League Of Ireland football and I hope I’m repaying them giving me the opportunity to play at this level.”

He is working with a number of good coaches at Ramblers when it comes to developing young footballers that is for sure.

Stephen Henderson has proven himself to be a first team manager at Ramblers that has placed his faith in youth, as was evidenced by the young average age of the starting Cobh team from the EA Sports Cup final against Derry City at the Brandywell last year.

While Stuart Ashton’s track record speaks for itself when it comes working with young Leeside talent, as evidenced also by his work with Cork City during the years.

Ramblers are a club which really are putting a strong emphasis on producing first team players from within their underage system and Kabia feels that it is a good source of motivation for the players in the current Cobh underage sides that seek to make a career in football.

“Yeah, if you look at our squad there’s plenty of youth. As well as myself, Matt Lamb, Stephen O’Leary, and Stephen O’Connor have all made the step up. It’s encouraging for our U17s and U19s, to know there’s a great chance of first team football with the right dedication.”

Jaze scoring for Corinthians at U13 level. Picture: Larry Cummins
Jaze scoring for Corinthians at U13 level. Picture: Larry Cummins

The 2019 campaign has been one which has seen Ramblers produce mixed results overall.

Form has been inconsistent generally and although there have been good points like their impressive win at home against promotion favorites Shelbourne, a regular sequence of positive results has eluded them to date.

The First Division is proving highly competitive this term and results have been quite unpredictable on a general basis week by week.

The introduction of the playoffs into the First Division has brought a new lease of life to that league and for players like Kabia at Ramblers, there is a good chance that there still will be something to play for when the league reaches the final third of the season later on in the summer.

Kabia feels Ramblers start to the 2019 League Of Ireland First Division campaign has been mixed, but feels the side are capable of climbing the table and still challenge in the promotion playoff picture.

“We been very unlucky so far. Our form has been inconsistent, but suspensions and injuries haven’t done us any favours.

“This league is about gaining momentum and getting results. Everybody is capable of beating each other. But I feel we can still challenge.”

Jaze is the son of Jason Kabia, who indeed played in League of Ireland football with the likes of Cork City and Cobh Ramblers during his own playing days, while also lining out in the English Football League for Lincoln City.

His career also took him from places such as Doncaster Rovers to Valletta out in Malta. But now he is focused on helping Jaze find his way in the footballing world.

Jaze describes how helpful his father has been with regards to his own playing career.

“Yeah he’s been great, he’s honest with me always. He tells me why I’m good, but he’s honest with me when I could have done better.

“He seen first hand how difficult it is to go to the top and he’s steering me in the right direction to avoid the pitfalls.”

There is no doubt that Jaze Kabia is someone to keep a close eye on and he is a player that looks quite likely to have a bright future in the game ahead of him.

For now, it can be safely said that it is an asset for Cobh Ramblers to have a player of his talent in their ranks.

Ultimately, players such as Kabia want to try to get into the Premier Division and he would dearly love to play his role in getting Ramblers towards that target. It will be interesting to monitor his progress over the coming years.

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