As it is well know, Gabala engaged a new player in the early last month to strengthen up the line of attack. Now 27-year-old Serge Djiehoua, an African footballer, has a chance to test himself in Gabala – the next stage of his soccer-life-tour after Stella Club of Africa, Kaizer Chiefs and Thanda Royal Zulu clubs (Republic of South Africa), as well as Antalyaspor of Turkey. Having been named as a striker of Gabala, he is sharing in interview his history of recent years as a footballer.
… gave up secondary school to choose up football once and for all.
- You must be missing now to play as you are still out of games for a while because of the transition to Gabala, right?
-Yeah, I’m really terribly missing soccer.
-Tell us please how interesting you came to football.
- I was born in Abidjan city of Ivory Coast, Africa. When I was in my seven, my parents and elder brother were wishing to see me going to secondary school and growing as an educated kid with my age-mates. But, me being in contrary to it, was very keen on becoming a footballer in future. It’s right, I went to school for a while, but in mid I gave up it and choose up football once and for all.
- Which team was your first?
- I had started with my native Abidjan’s Stella Club and although my father was still against it, afterwards the man taking me to football school was himself, my father.
I got my early knowledge of soccer from the Academy of Stella Club. I played in domestic championships in that team after I was established in football. There are forty goals that I have scored in 50 games since 2002 up to 2005 that I left Stella. I used to be the second goal-bomber of the league.
- And then, you headed to the Republic of South Africa to play for Kaizer Chiefs and Thanda Royal Zulu clubs. Could you share your important moments in games with them?
- I signed a three-year-contract with Kaizer Chiefs in 2005 and, after 2 years playing with them, removed to Thanda Royal Zulu for the games of the next year.
I used to have some achievements in Kaizer Chiefs. Africa has a continent-wide tournament - Vodacom Challenge Cup. In 2006, after four years from founding the tournament, we were the winner of the competition.
In the same year, we also got a cup winning over Orlando Pirates – one of the best teams of South Africa – and Manchester United in final. I achieved to be the second in the list of the best players then.
They had no money to pay me for transition.
- What about Antalyaspor?
- John Moshoeu, who played for Kaizer Chiefs, is the man I played with too hard for Kaizer Chiefs’ successes. Once he promised to take me to Turkey football if I showed good games, in other words, made much scores.
It got it as a joke that time and didn’t know he would follow his word taking me to Kocaelispor club of Turkey where I participated in trainings three times. But they had no money to pay me for the transition.
Antalyaspor was the next club interested on me after I joined them by chance to play at a friendly, after which I signed a contract with them.
- What differences do you see between championships in Turkey and Azerbaijan, and what differs Antalyaspor from Gabala?
- It is more difficult to play at Turkey championships than at those in Azerbaijan. Firstly, they play faster in Turkey and that is why footballers always have to be in a good form.
Secondly, there are more professional guys running the ball at Turkey championships.
I watched many matches of Azerbaijan championships, which made me to think your players are on a good level. But the problem is the level of football and play speed that make yours to differ from the neighbor country’s cup contests.
And, Antalyaspor and Gabala almost the same in comparison.
It is still secret to me, too, where Tony Adams saw and liked me.
- As we know, you had some talks with some club from Qatar before joining Gabala. What was the problem preventing you from going there?
- This summer, Al-Ahli club has invited me to play for them and they wrote visa and bought a ticket for me to. I headed to Qatar and stayed with the team for a week.
All were going well when I was almost to sign a contract, but one day three-four managers appeared insisting as if I was a player of them. That prevented us to reinforce the relationships into official motion.
The strange thing was that, I had never seen those manager guys before and the club should pay to one of them for my transition. So, I went back to France and after a while, I was invited to Azerbaijan.
- Where did Tony Adams, our head coach, see you for the first like?
- It is still secret to me, too, where Tony Adams saw and liked me. Maybe he saw me from my video plays or watched Turkey’s cup events.
- What are your expectations from Gabala?
- I had have a two-week-training that was headed by Adams’s assistant Fatih Kavlak after coming to Gabala.
And finally, I couldn’t be able to prove myself in the last season in Antalyaspor because of my injury. But now, I’m ‘hungry’ for football and need to show myself as a footballer still having perspectives.
Name: Serje Pacome Djiehoua
Birth date: 25.09.1983
Birth place: Abidjan, Ivory Coast,
Clubs: Stella Club (Ivory Coast), Kaizer Chiefs and Thanda Royal Zulu clubs (Republic of South Africa) and Antalyaspor (Turkey).
Height: 1,80 cm
Weight: 96 kg.