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Fast and furious: One on one with Kaydion Gabriel

“I was once told that you must not settle for what you have but always push to get more,” said Central FC wing back Kaydion Gabriel. “So that’s what I do… Push myself, work hard and I will hopefully get more.”

Astrologists say that independence is the Sagittarius’ key principle. For Port of Spain-born striker-cum-defender Kaydion Gabriel, he has married his independent spirit to a unit as he tries to align individual performance with the goals of his Pro League employer Central FC.

Photo: Eyes have it! Defence Force winger Jemel Sebro (right) and Central FC wingback Kaydion Gabriel focus on the ball during a Pro League contest. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Eyes have it!
Defence Force winger Jemel Sebro (right) and Central FC wingback Kaydion Gabriel focus on the ball during a Pro League contest.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

Gabriel credits his mom, Althomes Evelyn, for the his unique name and his dad, Colin Gabriel, for grounded support. The second of three children, he has strived for independence for as long as he could remember.

Central, otherwise known as the “Couva Sharks”, will be action in the Caribbean Club Championship semifinal and final or third place playoff on May 18 and 22 at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva. While they face Caledonia AIA in the Digicel Pro Bowl final on May 29.

However, Wired868 caught up with the jovial, young gentleman and this is what we found out:

Full Name: Kaydion Gabriel

Nickname: ‘Drogba’ (given since I was small)

Date of birth:  01 December 1990

Number: 15

Present Position: Right Full Back

Home town:  Quiet neighbourhood of Cedar Wood Drive, Morvant – born and bred.

Photo: Central FC's Kaydion Gabriel. (Courtesy: AMCox/Wired868)
Photo: Central FC’s Kaydion Gabriel.
(Courtesy: AMCox/Wired868)

Schools attended and position played:

Belmont Junior Secondary then Malick Secondary Comprehensive where I played right wing under coach, Sterling Figaro.

Something most people do not know about you?

I am a very shy person and I love watching movies. I mostly enjoy watching action movies like Fast and Furious.  Maybe someday, I may star in an action movie but it would have to include football.

How did you get your nickname?

My friend Aquil Selby (who now plays for North East Stars) called me ‘Drogba’ while we played football for Defence Force Juniors. I had no
clue who Drogba was. So I looked him up, watched matches he played in and liked what I saw. I tried to put some tweaks from his game into mine.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time? 

After training I watch movies (with a broad smile) and play with my one-year-old daughter, Shania.

What is your favourite dish?

Macaroni pie

Photo: Point Fortin Civic midfielder Akeem Redhead (right) takes Central FC wing back Kaydion Gabriel for a run during a previous Pro League outing. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Point Fortin Civic midfielder Akeem Redhead (right) takes Central FC wing back Kaydion Gabriel for a run during a previous Pro League outing.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

What pushes you to succeed? 

I love this game and I see this as a career and to make betterment for my daughter. I was once told that you must not settle for what you have now but always push to get more.  So that’s what I do… push myself, work hard and I will hopefully get more.

Which three words best describes you as a person? 

Friendly, playful – off the field, on the field – I doh play! And mischievous… in a good way.

Who was your most important coach/coaches and why?

Shurland David, he gave me the opportunity to break into the Pro League at North East Stars. Before him, I was always on the bench.

What makes you stand out as a player? 

My fitness level. It allows me the speed and agility to recover the ball and play the game.

Favourite player:

(Again smiling) Other than myself… I would have to say (Central FC teammate) Ataulla Guerra and (Chelsea and Ivory Coast veteran striker) Didier Drogba.

What’s your favourite team?

Locally – Central FC (not because I play with them but because we’re a unique family unit).

Internationally – Chelsea FC.

Photo: Central FC players Willis Plaza (left), Kaydion Gabriel (top) and Ataulla Guerra celebrate during their 5-2 win over Point Fortin Civic. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Central FC players Willis Plaza (left), Kaydion Gabriel (top) and Ataulla Guerra celebrate during their 5-2 win over Point Fortin Civic.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

How do you prepare for a football match?

(First a grin, then a serious face) – I pray, then practice, then snack on TeaTime® or Shortcake biscuits followed by lots of water. I then go out and play football the best way I know how.

What was your best and worst moment in football so far? 

Best: Winning the Digicel Pro League 2014-2015 title.

Worst: Last season – working hard and not getting picked to play.

What is your ambition in the game?

To get the opportunity to play professional football in Canada or Europe, or with a Major League Soccer (MLS) team in the US.  (smiling again) A dream would be to play for Chelsea but I know it would take r-e-e-a-a-l work.

What is your target for 2015?

Firstly, capture the CFU title. We qualified for the semi finals of the CFU by beating home team Alpha United in Guyana.  It was my first experience outside of Trinidad and it was a challenge. Next is to try to make the national team and possibly gain international exposure. I’m working on the (CFU) title and my agent is working on the exposure.

Photo: Central FC wing back Kaydion Gabriel (right) takes the ball on his chest while North East Stars player Dwane James closes in. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Central FC wing back Kaydion Gabriel (right) takes the ball on his chest while North East Stars player Dwane James closes in.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

Who would you consider to be your greatest fan [that you know]?

My best friend Rickesha Telemaque – we talk before every game.

Do you have any words of inspiration/support for upcoming athletes in this field?

Football is a funny game. You have to be focused on what you want and strive to do better. Don’t worry too much about past games always work for the next game. Hard work pays off.

AboutMichelle Cox

Michelle Cox
Michelle Cox is a Wired868 freelancer who was born and bred in South Trinidad and lives in the village of La Brea. Cox holds an Associate degree in PR and Journalism and is currently pursuing her BA in Mass Communication at COSTAATT. She has been employed in the energy sector for over 15 years and is the proud mother of daughters Denielle, 10, and Amelia, 6. Her mantra is: ‘the learning never stops until you do and then… you still never know.’

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15 comments

  1. Before next weekend Kirwin Weston. I am trying to get prizes for my two players of the year. 😉

  2. When is your personalised ProLeague Team of the year coming out Lasana Liburd ? Waiting to see this one, haha

  3. Glad he recognized Shurland David though.

  4. HOPE THEY DO NOT LEAVE THIS TALENT OUT OF THE NATIONAL SETUP FOR TOO LONG THIS YOUNG MAN IS THE BEST FULL BACK IN THE COUNTRY! “SECOND TO NONE”

  5. Lol. Mekeil Williams was interviewed today Alana Allan. You’re as sharp as razor.

  6. I’ll like to read a one on one about Mekeil Williams Mr. Lasana Liburd! I think he’s another great player on the pitch. If I missed it, can you repost?

  7. He is relentless on the flank.

  8. Any young person that makes the courageously sound statements as KG has been making and proving to live out his “shouts”, especially in a socially deteriorating and spent society as we have become in our T&T, gets my vote and full support. Hats off to you Kaydion Gabriel and may God bless with good health and, from what I understand about you, continued good character building. Hard work and good character, lined in the sights of a realistic goal, and a good, from-here-to-there plan, generally realizes his dream.

  9. Thanks Michelle Cox!! Excellent interview! Gabriel is one of my favorite guys who has great potentials and I know he’ll reach far. We have a couple things in common. We both support the same domestic and international team including the same players. #CFC

    “I was once told that you must not settle for what you have now but always push to get more. So that’s what I do… push myself, work hard and I will hopefully get more.” I love this quote! I wish him all the very best in his endeavors!

  10. Great Attitude and Hard work daily. True professional and Great person.

  11. R.Walcott

    Big player. And a very hard worker.

  12. A true professional who has worked hard to become the first name on the teamsheet. Started 22 out of 24 Pro League games this season …more than any other Central outfield player.

  13. Good honest interview here with Drogba. It captures exactly the type of person and player that he is