Ricky Zililo, Senior Sports Reporter
FORMER Highlanders and national team right-back Noel Kaseke has decided to hang his boots, putting an end to a 20-year playing career.
Kaseke, who turns 38-years-old in December, announced his decision to quit the game that gave him fame and fortune on his Facebook timeline on Wednesday.
He won three league championships with Bosso between 1999 and 2001, before moving to Europe where he spent 16 years and won numerous accolades.
In his post, he expressed his gratitude to clubs, teammates, coaches and fans, who supported him throughout his 20-year playing career.
Kaseke started playing for the Highlanders first team when he was still a student at Bulawayo’s Founders High School.
“It has been the most amazing journey filled with every emotion I can think of. Sixteen and a half years of playing abroad filled with trophies and personal achievements that I could not have imagined in my lifetime. I’m almost 38-years-old and I have met and made great friends and people who have become family to me,” Kaseke wrote.
“Who says family is only blood relatives? Well, let me tell you that in my 16 and a half years playing abroad coupled with four great years in the first team of boyhood club Highlanders where I won the league and a countless number of trophies with the first team, coupled with the many trophies won with the junior teams, I have a huge family that I can’t mention all in this post. I knew this day would come and it has finally come.
“I am hanging my football boots. It has been an amazing journey; thank you Highlanders, thank you Erzeni, thank you Dinamo, thank you Paralimni, thank you Omonoia, thank you Alki, thank you Al Shaab, thank you Dibba Al Hisin, thank you Masfoot (the last team he played for).”
Among the coaches that Kaseke mentioned are the late Highlanders, AmaZulu and FC Platinum coach Benjamin Moyo, renowned juniors gaffer Ali Baba Dube and Rahman Gumbo.
He also listed the coaches he played under abroad.
“The people that stood by me saw me through this whole journey. My wife and kids, my family, friends and my biggest family, the fans that have made me feel so special in my whole career. Without you I know it wouldn’t have been such an amazing journey and above all My God, My Almighty. Words can’t express enough for this gift that you have blessed me with. Thank you for Blessing me My God and I know I was never the best, but you blessed me even though I was not the best.
“A new journey begins for me now and I just want to say thank you My God for you alone know the plans you have for me, plans to prosper me not to harm me. I am safe in your hands Lord. Thank you once again to you all for being part of my amazing football career,” said Kaseke.
The former national team utility player declined to reveal his plans, but it is highly likely that he will venture into coaching.
Kaseke is in Harare with Christian Brothers College (CBC) for today’s schools’ soccer tournament being held at St Georges College. — @ZililoR