Born in Italy of Romanian parents Gabriel Sava was on the books of Seria A club Lazio before landing in Ireland where he played with Drogheda Boys U-17s under the late Paddy Mooney. His first tilt at top level football here was with Drogheda Town when the Italian was voted "Man of the Match" in an FAI Cup game against Bohemians. His performance earned him a move to Monaghan United where Gabi kept seven clean sheets in his first seven games for the club. Last winter he followed former boss Mick Cooke to Drogheda United where he has enjoyed a spectacular start to the 2012 league campaign.
Three great wins in the past week over Bray , Athlone and Derry City?
Yes it's great for the team to get back to winning ways .We are very happy with our at the moment but we're not getting carried away!
How did you first come to live in Drogheda?
When I was 15 my family were invited to visit some Italian friends living in Dublin. They had a restaurant in Drogheda and my brother took up their offer of a job as a chef. I decided to join him and my first club here was Albion Rovers before signing along with Sean Brennan for Drogheda United's U-17s.
How many languages do you speak?
Three. Romanian, Italian and English. It depends on what company we have.
You had a short spell with Drogheda's first team when Paul Doolin was manager
Yes but I didn't stand much of a chance of breaking into the first team when Dan Connor was playing so well and then Mikko Vilmunen signed. I had a wrist injury also that kept me out for eight months.
Did you enjoy your time with Drogheda Town?
Yes very much so. Paul Whelan was an excellent manager and we did very well to get so far in the FAI Cup.
What about your two years with Monaghan United?
Yes I was quite happy there and played under two excellent managers in Mick Cooke and Roddy Collins. We had a good team and deserved to get promoted. But Drogheda is a real soccer town compared to Monaghan. People here love soccer and always want to talk about the game whereas in Monaghan it's very much a minority sport compared to GAA. I really want to play in front of big crowds in Drogheda. I think the crowds will really come out if we continue to do well.
I take it you are well settled in Drogheda after ten years now
Yes I love the town (or should I say city!). My girlfriend is from Drogheda and we have a three year old son called Bobby! The people are very friendly and always ask me how I'm getting on. Everyone seems to know me! My parents are coming over for three weeks so maybe our son Bobby might be mascot for one of the home games when they're here! I look at Drogheda as my home now and I'm very proud to play in front of the local fans.
You were man of the match in the 0-0 draw against Dundalk. You made some amazing saves to keep it scoreless.
Yes, I did have a good game but to be honest I know that I can play much better than I have in the last few games. I was annoyed with myself last Friday in conceding the second goal. I have to work on my concentration. Overall I feel that I haven't done myself justice so far this season. I go to the gym most days in The Boyne Valley Hotel as I have the time, now that I'm not working.
You didn't have to worry about settling back with Drogheda when half of the Monaghan team came with you!
Yes it helps a lot to have played with so many of the lads beforehand and of course to know Mick Cooke well too!
Paul Holland has been the Half-Time Co-ordinator at Drogheda United for the past five years and has produced two DVDs for the club in 2006 and 2007. Paul is also the Meath & Leinster Co-ordinator of the hugely popular FAI Schools 5-a-side competition.