Former professional footballer Zeka Karkee has joined Hanover Park FC (HPFC) as their new Local Football Association First Team Head Coach, campaigning in the Cape Town Tygerberg League. And he’s ready to start making moves.

“There’s a wealth of talent in Hanover Park,” he says. “I mean there are two teams from Hanover Park campaigning in the Castle League (Regional Third Division) and hopefully next year there will be one in the ABC Motsepe League, if all goes well in the playoffs. Part of my appointment will obviously be to feed the Hanover Park team.”

Karkee, who hails from Kewtown, Athlone, is perhaps best known for his stints at Vasco Da Gama, where his leadership helped them win promotion to the Premiership from the National First Division in the 2010/2011 season. He made 26 appearances in the competition known as the DStv Premiership. 

So he joins the “Brasse Vannie Park” with ample experience and knowledge of what it takes to become a professional footballer – and his appointment comes as no surprise.

“Mr Riedeuwaan Anthony (HPFC Chairman) has asked me on many occasions to help the club with coaching. The club is struggling in that department – and I’m happy to help out.”

It’s not just a case of doing what he’s good at, though. The former FC Cape Town defensive midfielder has a bit of history with the club, and an abiding love for the institution. So he was more than happy to sign a contract at Downberg Road Sports Complex – the  home of Hanover Park Football Club.

“Hanover Park did so much for me in my playing career, especially after I was injured,” Karkee noted. “Many times when players do get injured, they get discarded by their current clubs – and that’s exactly what happened to me.” 

Luckily, Hanover Park picked up the slack.

“I got a call from Mr Anthony, knowing that I was injured, and he said, ‘Hey Zeka what’s happening? Let’s try and rehabilitate you.’” 

And that’s pretty much exactly what happened.

“I went to Hanover Park, and they were in the Motsepe league at the time, and he helped rehabilitate me. It took me about a month and a half before I could play my first match.”

He soon made up for lost time, though. 

“I was happy to repay the club and we won the league that year and we had a good stint in the ABSA Cup (Nedbank Cup), getting to the quarter-finals – and eventually losing to Orlando Pirates, unfortunately.” 

So he’s happy to get the chance to lend a hand once again.

“Hanover Park is a team that is near and dear to my heart,” he says “I have a deep affinity for the club. And hopefully I can again repay them by generating the new generation. ‘m relishing the opportunity.”        

Edited by Nicklaus Kruger