An Interview With Pawel Abbott

Huddersfield Town story posted by Sean Makin on 20/02/2012 can reveal former Huddersfield Town striker and fans' favourite Pawel Abbott has kindly taken the time out to answer our questions about his time with Huddersfield Town.An Interview With Pawel Abbott

Pawel Taduesz Howard Abbott was born on 5th May 1982 in York but moved to his mother's native homeland Poland at the age of 11. Abbott began his career with Polish side LKS Lodz and made his debut aged 17 against Wisla Krakow but at age 19 Pawel returned to play his trade in England with Preston North End.
Abbott scored 5 goals in 25 games for Preston spread over three years and had two loan spells with local neighbours Bury scoring 6 goals in 17 games for The Shakers. In January 2004, Jon Stead left Huddersfield Town to sign for Premier League Blackburn Rovers and Town turned to 'Pav' to take off from where Stead left. Signing initially on loan, Pav scored on his debut in a 1-1 draw away at Bristol Rovers and he scored 4 goals in 6 games during that loan period. That persuaded Town to sign Abbott on a permanent basis for a fee of £125,000 but Pav only scored once more that season.
The following season is when Pav really took off as he struck 27 goals in all competitions (26 of those were in the league) including at the time Town's fastest hat-trick when he struck all three goals in a 3-0 win over Port Vale at Vale Park in September 2004. Abbott struck another 19 goals between the start of the 2005/06 and January 2007 before leaving the club to sign for Swansea City for £150,000. Since then he has played for Darlington, Oldham Athletic and Charlton Athletic and is now playing his trade back in Poland with Ruch Chorzow.

Abbott's career to date:

1999-2000 LKS Lodz
2001-2004 Preston North End – 25 appearances 5 goals
2002 Bury (loan) – 13 appearances 5 goals
2003 Bury (loan) – 4 appearances 1 goal
2004 Huddersfield Town (loan) – 6 appearances 4 goals
2004-2007 Huddersfield Town – 105 appearances 44 goals
2007 Swansea- 18 appearances 1 goal
2007-2009 Darlington 42 appearances 17 goals
2009-2010 Oldham Athletic – 38 appearances 13 goals
2010-2011 Charlton Athletic – 25 appearances 5 goals
2011 – Ruch Chorzow – 8 appearances 1 goal.

1.You started your professional football career in Poland, is it true you rejected Doncaster Rovers to move to Polish side LKS Lodz? How was your time at LKS Lodz?

No I've never heard of interest from Doncaster. I lived in Poland since I was 11 so I'm not sure if Doncaster ever knew about me then. I enjoyed it at LKS, it was my first professional club and it was also the team I supported in Poland. It was great to play with a lot of well known Polish players.

2.You returned to England with Preston North End and I believe it was David Moyes who signed you? What was it like playing under Moyes?

He was a great manager, you could tell he would end up managing in the Premiership. I didn't play any first team games while he was manager, only friendlies and reserve matches. But I was always travelling with the team as the 17th man to all the games which benefited me a lot. I learnt a lot from just being around the first team.

3.How did you move come about to join Huddersfield Town?

I remember playing a reserve game against Huddersfield, I must have done OK because after the game Craig Brown, who was manger at the time said that Huddersfield wanted to take me on loan. By then I was coming on as subsititute for most games but I wanted to play more, so a couple of days later I was playing for Huddersfield against Bristol Rovers. After the month's loan was up, Huddersfield had an option of buying me because Preston didn't want to loan me out anymore. Craig Brown said he would offer me a new contract but he couldn't guarantee me a place in the side, with the likes of David Healy, Richard Cresswell and Ricardo Fuller ahead of me. So really it was a no brainer, especially because I loved my time on loan at Town.

4. You scored on your debut for The Terriers but my favourite during the 2003/04 season is that controversial goal against Lincoln City what do you remember about that goal?

Yeah I remember it and still can't believe it stood! Efe (Sodje) cleared the ball, and Boothy (Andy Booth) tried flicking it on but luckily their defender touched it (I think that was the only header Boothy lost while i was at Huddersfield!) I didn't hear a whistle so I just followed one of the oldest rules in the book, play to the whistle! To be honest I thought I was going to get booked for it but then I saw the referee consulting with the linesman and I think Boothy and Nathan Clarke were convincing them it was a goal, and the ref gave it!

5.You were apart of the squad that won promotion from Division Three (now League Two) what do remember of that day when Town beat Mansfield Town on penalties at the Millennium Stadium?

Yes, it was an incredible day, one I will never forget, especially because we were going through the play offs because of me! Which actually turned out OK because I don't think I'll get a chance to play there again! But at the time the Lads weren't too happy about coming in those extra few weeks! (laughs)
I remember driving up to the stadium and the streets were packed with Huddersfield fans, singing and waving, which made us even more buzzing for the game! To be honest I can't remember too much about the game, I remember coming off with a knee injury. I was gutted but I could hardly bend it by the time it was full time and I had to miss extra time.
I was supposed to be the 4th penalty taker as well, so it would of been nice to take the winning penalty because of the circumstances!

6.The next season (2004/05) was arguably your best in a Town shirt you scored 27 goals in all competitions and scored the fastest hat-trick in Town's history (against Port Vale in 2004) what do you remember of that season? Did any clubs come in for you? The rumour at the time was Wigan was prepared to offer £1.5 million.

That was a good season for me, I remember that hat-trick. I don't think it will stay the fastest for long the way Jordan Rhodes is going! I have a lot of memories from that season but the best is that my son was born that year. I didn't hear of Wigan putting a bid in, I only heard that from the papers although Terry Yorath did once tell me that a Premiership manager was asking about me.

7.Former Town assistant Terry Yorath in his autobiography talks of you being upset when manager Peter Jackson dropped you for the play-off semi-final after the Cheltenham Town match. Rumours are that you had a frosty relationship with Peter Jackson but how did you see your relationship with Jackson?

Of course I was upset, I'm never happy about being dropped, but especially after my mistake (against Cheltenham) I wanted to make amends and make sure that we won the play offs. I came back training on Monday all fired up and thought I trained well, but then I was getting signals that I wouldn't be playing, looking back at it now I went the wrong way about showing my anger, I wasn't trying as hard in training, I was angry with everyone, which I now regret because the lads were great with me even though iImight have ruined our promotion chances. I was still a young player and a very impulsive person. But I think I've learnt from my mistakes and that has never happened again. Of course I still get angry when I'm not selected but now I channel that anger to work harder to get back into the team. I have also learnt to bite my tongue. I remember at the first leg of the semis against Lincoln City, there was a banner, I can't recall exactly what it said but it was on the lines of Don't worry Pav, we still love you and that really got me motivated to get back in the team. I realised I was not only letting myself and the lads down but the fans too, I also got cheer up letters and cards from fans, which I still have to this day. That helped me a lot as well and id like to thank all the fans who did, maybe some of you are reading this now :). In the 2nd leg I came to the ground and I wasn't even in the 16! Jacko (Peter Jackson) didn't speak to me or nothing, he just announced the squad and I wasn't in it, which I couldn't understand at all. I was furious, but at the final whistle I was buzzing for the lads that they won and couldn't stop myself from going and celebrating with them! A day after the game we went to a hotel for 2 days, a sort of a celebration/ team bonding thing and I went to see Jacko, I apologised to him for my behaviour and explained why i was so angry and it seemed that was that because I ended up starting in the final. But personally I think he always had a grudge against me for that. Every time Town brought someone on loan during that time they would automatically take my place, even when I was scoring regularly.

8. You scored a respectable 14 goals at the end of 2005/06 season which included you being in the Town history books (again) for scoring in 6 consecutive matches but is it true that you were offered to the MK Dons in the summer?

I might have scored more but the second part of the season I didn't play many games and I think that was the beginning of the end for me at Huddersfield Town. Jacko told me MK Dons wanted a swap deal with Dean Lewington coming to Huddersfield. I went down to speak to Martin Allen but I always knew in my heart I wouldn,t leave Huddersfield, even though MK offered a lot more in wages .I spoke to Jacko and said that I wanted to stay and fight for my place and he seemed fine with that. I started the season on the bench, but Boothy got injured in the first game, I came in and scored a few goals and I thought I was doing ok. Then he started playing me right midfield, then tried playing 3 up top with me, Boothy, (Luke) Beckett and it clearly didn't work so most of the time I was coming off the bench.

9.You left for Swansea in January of 2007 did you want to leave Town?
I didn't want leave, although I wasn't playing much at the time. I loved living in Huddersfield, my family loved it too, we had lots of friends there, but it got to a point where you could sense I wasn't in Jacko's plans anymore. He even rang me persuading me to go and that its a great opportunity for me. I think that is why I didn't hit it off at Swansea because I was still gutted I had to leave Huddersfield! I've always wanted to come back, my agent even spoke to Lee Clark when i was leaving Darlington. But unfortunatly he wasnt interested

10.You are now back playing for Ruch Chorzow in Poland did you always wanted to return to Poland?

My plan was to go back to Poland at some stage, and I thought it was the right time for me last year and I love it here.

11.Who was the best player you played with during your time with Huddersfield Town? Do you keep in touch with any former team mates?

Boothy without a doubt. He was a great strike partner to play with, he was also a great person off the pitch. I learnt a lot from Boothy. Nathan Clarke and Jon Worthington were 2 players I always thought would play at a higher level. You've got to have a bit of luck in football too. I've lost touch with most of the lads but there loads of social networks now, so I'm sure it wouldn't be hard to get back in touch with the lads.

12.Any funny stories during your time with Town?

We used to have these roller things, which you'd roll up and down on to massage your legs but we used to turn the lights of in the dressing room at the Galpharm and hit each other with them! They were pretty hard so when someone caught you with it, it hurt! Jacko even used to join in!! But we had to finish it because it was getting a bit out of control ,when people started throwing trampolines and boots and even a shopping cart got in there somehow! We had a great team spirit at the time and some funny characters! There were always some funny pranks going on!

13.How would you describe your time with Huddersfield Town? Also would you like to give Town fans a message?

All in all I loved my time at Huddersfield but I feel like I still had something to fulfil, that I had more to give. I was still developing as a player and know I could've done better for the club.

I would also like to thank all the fans at Huddersfield that they stuck by me not only in the good times! I've always felt part of Huddersfield ever since I've left and there is always a bit of me hoping that I might put on a Town shirt again! I've always felt welcome coming back to the Galpharm, especially the first time I was back with Oldham the whole stadium clapped when I being subbed, it was an emotional moment for me.

We'd like to thank Pav for his contribution and we wish him and his family all the best for the future.


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