Star Check

David Jim: Meet Nigeria’s ‘Paul Pogba’ who is nicknamed ‘Balotelli’

David Jim

Meet uncapped Nigeria international midfielder, David Jim, who plays for Egyptian side M. Samanoud. Jim played grassroots football in Nigeria with Donadini and Gubles Academy under Coach Daniel Japheth who is now the assistant coach of NNL side, Vandrezzer FC. He was nicknamed ‘Balotelli’ by teammates because of his no-nonsense attitude on and off the pitch. Excerpt:

How is the COVID-19 pandemic in Egypt?

The virus is really annoying to the extent that all the pitches in Egypt are locked, it has really affected our game and it’s not a friendly issue. We are just coping.

What stage was the league before the COVID-19 pandemic started?

All leagues were in progress and my team was doing well with few matches left.

Are you monitoring the health situation back home in Nigeria?

I’m monitoring the situation because I’m scared for my family, friends and loved ones, I’m scared because this virus is invisible and as I speak, I should have been back home for holidays but the pandemic has stuck me here and I’m not happy.

Away from the pandemic, briefly tell us about how you got scouted and taken to North Africa?

I travelled to Russia in 2015/2016 season and came back, I played with Donadini and Gubles Academy and trials was organized, there were lots of talented players who participated in the trials and by God’s grace I was picked during the trials and that’s how I was brought to Egypt.

David Jim with teammates
M. Samanoud midfielder David Jim (left) with teammates

How would you describe your relationship with Coach Daniel Japheth?

He is my childhood coach who took me as his son and was the one who arranged the agent who brought me to Egypt. He love talented players and I learnt a lot playing in his team as he made me the club captain. If I’m to explain everything time would be exhausted but I can only conclude that he is a good man and deserves the best.

How do you cope with the language difference there in Egypt?

When I arrived here newly it was very difficult, I was very lonely because I couldn’t communicate with anybody, but the footballing aspect I was making use of hand gestures until I used Google translation but now I understand the language perfectly well.

Who was your favourite teammate during your grassroot days?

My favorite man was Kokoette Nicknamed Aguero Victor, I think he now plays for Dakkada FC. We went through a lot together and I’m happy we are gradually fulfilling our dreams.

Which team is your favourite in the NPFL?

I’m a big fan of Akwa United. Anytime I’m home I love watching their games.

How would you describe your pattern of play as a midfielder?

I’m a box to box midfielder and I play like Paul Pogba, I was nicknamed Balotelli during my grassroot days because I hardly smile on the field of play.

Any message for the youngsters back home who will like to play football professionally?

They should work very hard, hard work pays. Wherever you find yourself give your best, I know things are really tough right now hence it’s important to put God first and believe that one day your dream of turning professional would come true.

Thanks for your time David Jim, stay safe.

****

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