After recently speaking to Zack Scerri about his time at Hibernians, I interview another young talent coming out of Malta, Jurgen Degabriele.
The young forward is a product of the Hibernians youth academy.
Since making his debut in 2013, Degabriele has shown some brilliant potential as his footballing career develops.
How are you finding things now that you are playing regularly with the Hibernians senior squad?
It’s not easy to play for one of the best teams in Malta who are also the current champions, but things are going fine. The atmosphere is really good and I hope it continues like this so we can reach where we all want to be at the end of the season.
You made your debut in 2013 against Rabat Ajax, how has your career developed in three years?
In three years I have passed through some good times and some bad times. For a footballer my age, that is very good. You can learn from your mistakes and try not to make them again. I have learnt a lot in the past three years from my coaches and my team mates.
Hibs have a number of talented forwards in their squad. How difficult is it to secure your place as a first team regular?
Yes, we have a selection of really good players upfront. It is difficult because I have to be at my top during every training session and during every game in order to keep my place as a first team player. I never expect to start in every match because I know the talent in our team and our players, but I believe in myself so when I play I always want to do my best for the team and to secure a win.
You have a very young squad at Hibs. How does this benefit Branko Nisevic when it comes to picking his starting XI?
It benefits Branko because he can look at the future and he knows that when someone is injured or suspended he can turn to the youngsters because he knows that they will be a good replacement.
Andrew Cohen can operate as both a midfielder and forward. What does Cohen’s experience in a number of positions bring to the squad?
Cohen is the most experienced player in our team. So if he is either playing in midfield or as a striker it is not a problem because he can play well in both positions. Therefore for the squad it is very good and this also allows the coach to rotate some players. With him in your squad you can do anything.
Hibs are currently placed second in the league, three points behind Valletta. How do you aim to secure the top spot?
We always aim to win games, so for us to get back to the top spot we have to win every game.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years time?
I see myself still playing football of course. I am trying to get better and better each day. I will also try to reach my goal, which is to play for the Maltese national team at senior level.
Zach Muscat recently moved to S.S Akragas in Italy. Do you wish to play abroad in a few years time?
Zach is a very good player and he has all the credits to play abroad. I wish him all the best in this experience. I also wish like many other Maltese players, to play abroad and to play at a high professional standard.
How do you think the Maltese league needs to develop to become bigger?
In my opinion, the league this year is already really tough and very competitive. Although, for me there is not much space for young players but if every team has good foreign players with a high level of quality this can allow the Maltese players to improve.
Finally, who is your footballing inspiration?
As I grew up in the Hibernians Nursery from the age of seven, I wanted to be like Andrew Cohen. He has been my idol since I was a kid and now I’m playing with him I think I’ve already reached one goal in my football career.
I would like to thank Jurgen for speaking to me and I look forward to meeting him in Malta during the summer where you can expect another exclusive interview.