Kyrian Nwabueze: The American with Nigerian blood

We had an interview with US striker of Nigerian origin Kyrian Nwabueze, who strengthened FC Ararat squad in February 2016, during the training camp in USA. The 23-years-old forward with great physics and speed have yet scored only one goal for our team (See the beauty against “Banants” below), but Kidd (It’s his nickname in football) is sure – the best is still to come.

 

THE AMERICAN WITH NIGERIAN BLOOD

You were born in Nigeria but started your football career in the United States. When have you moved to USA?

I was born in Nigeria and moved to USA with my family when I was 8-years-old. We received a Green Card and my family decided to take that opportunity. We struggled a lot in USA, it was not easy. My parents had to work much in order to get a better position. I started to play football in the college team in USA.

Are you Nigerian or American ?

I’m an American now, but I don’t forget my roots and I still have Nigerian blood (smiling).

 

FIRST “ADULT EXPERIENCE” AND DEBUT AGAINST “ARARAT”

After scoring 19 goals in college team El Camino in 2013 you were invited to Los Angeles Misioneros, which was your first “adult experience”.

Yes, after scoring 19 goals in college league my coach from El Camino invited me to LA Misioneros, where I scored 8 goals in 8 matches in PDL.

In 2014 you impressed “Banants” coaches during the Cyprus training camp and moved to Armenia for the first time. It’s interesting that your first match in Armenia was against “Ararat”.

Right. It was a very nerve-wracking game, because it was my first match on the professional level. I was young and needed time to get used to Armenian playing style, which was quite different from the one in US.

What was the reason that you didn’t stay long in “Banants” and returned to Los Angeles Misioneros?

I enjoyed my first games in “Banants”. But coach’s and my visions of football were different. It just didn’t work out, because at that time I was young and inexperienced. Much things has changed since that time - I’m more mature and play on a higher level.

 

“MY BEST PERFORMANCE IS STILL TO COME”

In 2015 you had a “preferment” and signed contract with USL side Tulsa Roughnecks. Is it your best season in career yet, in which you managed to score 5 goals on a higher level?

I wouldn’t say it was my best season, though it was a good experience to play in United Soccer League. I think my best performance is still to come.

After training camp with “Ararat” in USA you strengthened our squad. What can you say about last six months in “Ararat”, how do you like our football and our team?

Coach believed in me and the contract was signed. Last six months in “Ararat” were the best in my soccer career. I enjoy playing in this team with my great teammates. I’m happy that I am here.

Did the little experience with “Banants” help you with adaptation in “Ararat” and in Armenia?

I would say yes. I had already got the taste of Armenian soccer and knew what to expect. I was better prepared this time.

Can you compare PDL and USL with Armenian Premier League?

The football here is very technical and can be aggressive at the same time. It’s definitely higher level in Armenia.

 

PATIENCE AND CLUB GOALS

Though you always struggle, have very good speed and physique, you managed to score only once for “Ararat” yet. In which components, in your opinion, you have to improve to score more?

I guess it also depends on my position. I try to catch and to play all the balls in the front line, switch to flank. To score more goals I have to be more in the box and play central forward. If I will be more patient, goals will come.

What plans do you have concerning our team and what should be our goals in the current season?

We stumbled a little bit in the beginning, but currently coaches are working on improving the team’s game. Our aim is to win every match, get to highest places and to qualify for the European club competitions. So these are our goals and we are working towards them.

 

INTERESTING PEOPLE AND ARMENIAN PIZZA

How do you like our country and which places do you prefer to visit in Yerevan?

I like it here, I like the natural food and pizzas (smiling). I like to do shopping, visit Dalma Mall. In the streets you can meet very interesting people, they want to get to know you, talk to you.

 

LEARNING ARMENIAN AND THE “HERITAGE” OF HISPANIC FRIEND

Which words in Armenian you already know and which Armenian words foreigner should learn first?

First you should learn “Bari luys” (“Hello”), if you want to say watts up you ask “Inch ka?” and if the answer is nothing then you say “Ban chka” (laughing). Everybody is saying “Inch ka Kidd?”.

It’s interesting to know, why are you nicknamed Kidd?

A long time ago, when I was in the middle school, I had a Hispanic friend, who wasn’t able to pronounce my name correctly and was calling me Kydian. Soon he probably thought that my name was too long for him and he started to call me just Kidd. Since that time everybody calls me Kidd (smiling).

We wish you good luck and many goals in “Ararat”.

Thank you very much. I will do my best.

 

In the video Nwabueze’s goal against “Banants” – from 1:04:53

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Team Standings

Team Pl P
Alashkert 23 45
Shirak 23 43
Gandzasar 22 42
Pyunik 22 36
Banants 23 19
Ararat 23 6

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