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Adam Chabukiani: Defying All Odds

The story of a young Georgian refugee, born through the chaos of the Abkhazia War to find his feet in the footballing world.
Started on 5 October 2015 by Jack
Latest Reply on 5 July 2019 by Justice

Future Stans: John Abubakar

Signing on a free transfer from Brighouse in March 2016, John Abubakar is awaiting his chance to arise in the first team of Bradford Park Avenue.

The young 16-year-old right-winger was scouted in 2012 at the age of twelve by West Yorkshire-based side Brighouse Town. Since then he made his debut aged 15 for his boyhood club. His first match was against Stamford AFC in the depths of the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League South. Brighouse won 4-1 with Abubakar assisting Tom Matthews' second goal of the game.

From that point on, Abubakar went on to play eight more league games for Brighouse before Bradford Park Avenue's Chief Scout, Kenny Lindoe came knocking.

"I'd heard from a few staff in our regional scouting system about a young lad. I watched Brighouse's 1-1 draw with Clitheroe and by then I'd made my judgement. We had to sign this kid up immediately." Commented Bradford's Chief Scout Lindoe on young John Abubakar.

Lindoe highlighted Abubakar's 'lightening' turn of pace which simply bullied lower league full-backs, as well as his talent actually on the ball to both Bradford's Head of Youth Development and manager, Adam Chabukiani.

The young Sukhumi-born manager spoke about his first time watching Abubakar: "I tell you what, I've seen some young players in both my playing and management career but none of them have excited me as much as John when he turned up for a two-week trial. He was straight in my office after his first training session,"

Abubakar has yet to make an appearance for the first-team at Horsfall Stadium. The 6'2" dynamo can play on the right side of midfield, as well as holding a number 10 role at some points in his Under-21 career.

The youngster has provisionally agreed a contract with the club which takes him off his current scholar deal up to a part-time deal for when he turns 17 in July 2017.

With young players dominating the starting eleven in Chabukiani's team, including fellow youth product Caner Dumlupinar, who has started 23 games this season, Abubakar can not be far away from his first-team debut for The Stans.

As we cap off the end of another year in charge of Bradford Park Avenue, it was in great fashion as we went the entirety of December 2016 with no loss, and advancing in the FA Trophy to play Southport in the Second Round in January. Our game versus Gateshead was called off and rescheduled for a weekend in January.



This is the state of the league table as we head into the New Year. Up at the top, we have a chance to go two points clear of Forest Green with our game in hand, but Bristol Rovers have a chance to follow us up by going one point behind us should we both win our game in hand. Down at the bottom however, it is a sorry state of affairs for Karl Marginson's Aldershot Town who lay seventeen points from safety after conceding a hefty 52 goals, leading to a goal difference of -40 going into 2017. The Shots have yet to win a game this season, with all of their seven points coming from draws.


Bradford Park Avenue have made their first move in the January Transfer Window by confirming the signing of former Portsmouth defender Ben Chorley.

The 34-year-old signed a one-and-a-half-year deal at Horsfall Stadium earlier this afternoon. He is earning around £150 per week at The Stans.

Bradford paid their National League counterparts Bromley FC £10,000 for the veteran central defender. With the reported unhappiness of back-up player Luke Greaves having not started a match for the club this season, it is likely Chorley is a replacement for the youngster.

It is probable that the 34-year-old could make his first appearance under Adam Chabukiani as early as Tuesday, when Bradford PA turn up at Stonebridge Road to face Ebbsfleet United.

Chorley's arrival at the club has been met with derision, with supporters claiming that Chabukiani has paid an outrageous amount of money for the former Leyton Orient man.

In reply to that criticism, Chabukiani defended the fee paid for Chorley: "This is a deal that I have spoken to the board about, and they accepted my ideas. If they didn't trust this signing like they didn't with Fletcher, Hallahan and Oseni, then we wouldn't be where we are right now. Chorley's statistics speak for themselves if you want to know how great he is."

Speaking about his statistics, Chorley holds the lead for most amount of key tackles this season for Bromley, making 28 key tackles, three more than the current runner-up Tom Dallison of Ebbsfleet.

In other Bradford Park Avenue related news, development players Shaun Barrow, Rory Eagers, Maurice McGuinness and Grant Getty have all left on loan deals to Blyth Spartans, Runcorn Town, Greenwood Meadows and Guiseley respectively.

Adam Chabukiani has also placed Luke Greaves, Steven McCarthy and Michael Potts on the transfer list, with many clubs eyeing up deals for them players as we speak. Chabukiani has also rejected two offers from unknown Championship clubs regarding wonderkid John Abubakar.

Following the controversial arrival of Bromley FC defender Ben Chorley, Adam Chabukiani has now let three first-team players leave the club following their placement on the transfer list.

From just three players, the club has raked in £70,000 after spending just £10,000 on Chorley.

Michael Potts joined Bradford Park Avenue from Stalybridge Celtic in 2015 under the John Deacey regime. His first season with The Stans was a great success as he made thirty-one appearances playing alongside Paul Marshall in the center of midfield.

He won promotion with the club that season, but with the clubs rise from the National League North up into the National League, Potts found himself neglected from the first teams games, with Adam Pepper dropping into his position following Harry Charsley's arrival in the summer.

This isolation from the travelling team has led to Potts only playing in two matches this season under Chabukiani, with Samir Nabi, Adam Pepper and Paul Marshall keeping him firmly out of the team. Because of this, he was placed on the transfer list in December.

FC Halifax of the National League North were the first to come in with a bid, and ultimately won the race to sign the central midfielder for £26,000, despite interest coming in from Salford City and AFC Telford. He claims he is at Halifax to help them push on their title chase as they sit five points behind league leaders Nuneaton Town in fourth place.

Steven McCarthy signed for Bradford PA last year after his release from Sunderland at the end of the 2013/14 season.

He was a pivotal part of Chabukiani's team that was promoted into the National League last season, making 21 starts and 12 substitute appearances in the league. He rewarded his manager's faith in him as the young Irish winger netted seven league goals and created four.

This season hasn't been a good one for the 21-year-old, though, as his chances of a first-team spot have been cancelled out by the pace of Sanchez Watt, as well as the rise of talented development player John Abubakar taking over his back-up spot in the team. These factors have limited his appearances this season to only ten in all competitions, with two goals to his name.
Luke Greaves in action for Accrington Stanley

Surprisingly, McCarthy has found his way up into League Two with his latest transfer, linking up with Accrington Stanley for a fee of £20,000 as talented winger Josh Windass is hunted down by Championship and League One clubs, John Townson is looking to replace him before it is too late.

Following his claims of unhappiness under the Chabukiani regime, Luke Greaves has also cut his stay at Horsfall Stadium short by agreeing a £24,000 deal with fellow National League outfit Lincoln City.

Greaves expected a season where he was a lot more involved as he led Bradford Park Avenue to promotion with 39 league appearances in the 2015/16 season. He played most of the season alongside Kasjusz Piwowarczyk, who had just joined the club following release from Leamington and immediately struck up an unbreakable bond with the Pole, with the club up there on most of the defensive charts.

Despite playing the most out of the three departures, playing in nineteen games, Greaves did not manage to start a single one of them, and with the arrival of Chorley backing up Oseni and Piwowarczyk, Greaves' chances are even shorter.

Upon the trio leaving the club, Chabukiani has also placed full-back Alex Pursehouse on the transfer list, with many teams in the lower divisions already showing interest in the 24-year-old who spent all of last seasons glory on loan to Warrington Town.
Great story the writing and the layout are both incredible
Good to get out three players you won't be using to avoid them all moaning about not playing :P
ninjaskill: Cheers mate!

AliciaWAFC: Absolutely, saves money as well!

Bradford Park Avenue boss Adam Chabukiani has claimed that the clubs' transfer business for this winter has been completed.

Following the departures of first-team trio Luke Greaves, Steven McCarthy and Michael Potts, the salary space offered by Bradford Park Avenue chairman Dr John Dean has been widened significantly.

This development has allowed Georgian-born gaffer Adam Chabukiani to bring in Australian-born English midfielder Ben Blackmore following his spell at the Australian Football Federation's Centre of Excellence.

Blackmore, who has played two under-21 matches for Australia before switching his allegiance to England's National Team due to his grandfather's English nationality.

Blackmore has not had an official club before, having played at a Centre of Excellence before travelling all the way around the world to link up with Adam Chabukiani on a free transfer.

His old coach, Marvin Power commented on the 19-year-old's ability: "Blackmore is an incredible talent, I don't think I have seen a better player come through our system than Ben. He is incredibly determined and talented on the ball. Chabukiani has picked him out well."

Blackmore will wear the number four for his new team in West Yorkshire as Bradford Park Avenue chase promotion to the Football League.

In terms of departures, another player has left Horsfall Stadium as right-back Alex Pursehouse leaves the club for National League North outfit Harrogate Town for a fee of £9,000.

Pursehouse missed out on Chabukiani's road to promotion last season as he was sent out on loan to Warrington Town for the season. He came back the following season as his contract expired, putting him on a non-contract alongside Luke Dean, whom he played in the Under-21's with at Horsfall Stadium.

Upon realising it wasn't worth bringing in a back-up right-back, Adam Chabukiani renewed Pursehouse's contract, making him a part-time player. He failed to impact Bradford's 2016/17 campaign, making only two appearances in all competitions.

Pursehouse signs up with Harrogate Town on a deal running until 2018.
How is your transfer budget looking for the next window?
He looks an interesting prospect so I'm looking forward to see what happens with him.

After losing three games this month, we have got off to a poor start, despite signing up two good players and letting go of the dross that I don't need to challenge for League Two promotion. When I saw 2017 approaching, this is not what I expected nor wanted.

Our first loss came against Gateshead at home after the same fixture was cancelled in early December. We went on to lose two other games involving Wrexham and Bristol Rovers, who leapfrogged us in the league following the result. I hope that my two new signings can properly begin to settle in with a comfortable squad and start getting more points on the board in February and onwards.



Thanks to our drastic dip in form, we find ourselves in third after the defeat to Bristol Rovers on the final day of the month. Up at the top, the league is extremely tight, with Braintree ready to overtake us should we lose, and even the resurgence of Gateshead leaves them capable of taking over us should they win both of their games in hand at this stage. However, on a more positive note we are still in the running for the title, hanging just two points away from league leaders Forest Green and boasting the greatest goal difference in the league. In terms of the FA Trophy, we will play Maidstone United in the 3rd Round of the cup. Maidstone sit in eleventh place in the Vanarama National League South.


I believe my Player of the Month for January to be Samir Nabi. The midfielder has been all over the shop in the centre of the pitch all season, but this month's performances have seen him stand out moreso due to his involvement with assists. I hope for more of the same from the former West Brom man.


The January transfer window was a particularly busy one this term, with five players leaving the club and also many activities which were never reported by the club.

Obviously, we spent almost £10,000 on Bromley centre-half Ben Chorley, who has started three games since his arrival. Ben Blackmore also joined us on a free transfer after excelling from the Australian Centre of Excellence.

In terms of departures, we made a capital of £79,000 this winter from sales, excluding the £43 per month we will receive from Grant Getty's loan move to Guiseley. We said goodbye to many of last season's heroes such as Luke Greaves and Steven McCarthy, who although guided us to promotion last season, have been heavily excluded by the increasing additional amount of talent in the team this time around.

Enquiries came in from both AFC Bournemouth and Wrexham this window for our superb right-back Caner Dumlupinar, who has only missed out on one game this entire league campaign through suspension. Offers came in for John Abubakar, who the press reported on a few weeks ago. Small offers of around £5,000 from Reading, Sheffield United, Wolves, Fulham and Bournemouth were all turned down.

Adding to rejected offers were Blackburn Rovers' attempt to purchase Jack Hallahan for £30,000 and Lewis Bennett - with Sheffield United challenging them for Bennett. A small offer from Gillingham was also turned down for Elliott Morgan, who has made one appearance for our first-team this season.
MJK46: I have just under £50,000 in transfer budget after January, but it sort of depends on if I'm promoted or not!

AliciaWAFC: I can certainly agree with you on that :P
5 February 2017

"I was promised to play football when I signed here!" Robbie McCourt's voice broke in his scream at me.

McCourt had been in my office for five minutes and he was already raging at me. His immaturity shone through him today. His professionalism was nowhere to be seen.

He had been telling me how unhappy he was to only have started four games this season, despite playing in 24 altogether including substitutions.

"Do you want to help the situation here, Mr McCourt?" I asked him.

The 18-year-old's face reddened with anger even more after that question. I took the gap of silence to reiterate the question. "Well?"

"Who even are you, mate? Nobody knows you, or what you've done, and that's why you're stuck here at this sh*t club with your sh*t little coaches who can't do anything but stuff their cock up your arse every single day at training," McCourt ranted.

"I'll tell you exactly who I am, Robbie." I smiled sarcastically. "I've come from the warzone that was Abkhazia as a refugee, got called up by Leeds United, rated one of the best youngsters in the game before a leg break supposedly ended my chances of a career. Bradford City signed me up later, I casually saved them from not existing as a football team before going on loan to Bradford Park Avenue and suffering yet another injury which ended my footballing career.

"After that, I go up to John Deacey, ask him for a job, help out a bit here as a coach, get promoted to assistant manager, get promoted to the manager, get this club out of the sh*t it's been in for the last five seasons in my first season and start challenging for promotion to the Football League in the second. Now please, who the hell are you? What have you done? F*ck all. You f*cked it at West Brom and can't even scrape a game here."

Robbie McCourt sat there in silence. He desperately wanted to come back from that but he couldn't.

"F*ck you boss, I'm not playing for this club ever again," he shouted.

"Oh, that makes such a difference with the amount of games you've played this season." I joked. "You know, when you came here I really thought you had something. I've come to realise that 'something' is a shit attitude," I told him.

"Now get out of my club and never f*cking come back, your contract is being torn up once you leave this room." I shouted as I arose from my seat. He flew out of the room like a bird chased by a fox.

"C*nt" I whispered to myself
So ah.... that was... a pleasant discussion... hahahaha!
2016-02-17 14:57#226164 Griffo : So ah.... that was... a pleasant discussion... hahahaha!
Chabukiani doesn't like big egos in his team ;)

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