Carrying forward family football legacy

Carrying forward family football legacy

Ezekiel Hans, a 17-year-old grade 11 student at St. Paul’s College, is a young and determined football player poised to become a future professional star.

Carrying forward his family’s legacy, Hans has been a key player for Ramblers, showing a natural talent and passion for the sport from a very young age. His dedication and hard work on the field signal a bright future in professional football.

Hans has been playing for Ramblers Football Club since the age of eight, though his passion for soccer began even earlier. According to his family, he has been kicking a ball around since he was in diapers. “However, I officially began playing football at about four years at my kindergarten. 

“We used to go to the Ramblers field and play football when class ends. My father massively influenced my footballing interest and for as long as I can remember, he was always watching Liverpool games. I love football because it is so unpredictable. Anybody can win on any day, and the adrenaline experienced from playing and even just supporting is addictive,” he said.

The 17-year-old joined Ramblers Football Club officially in 2015, and has been with the club for the past nine years. However, he has also played and trained at other clubs to gain exposure. “I have trained with Athletic Club Football Academy (ACFA), CBS and my school team, all of which I have found quite enjoyable. I have played every position, I started as a striker, moved to the wing and eventually settled in the midfield, playing as an attacking, defensive and box-to-box midfielder. My coaches and I decided that playing in the midfield suited me best, as that is where I felt the most comfortable and could fully optimise my skill set.”

“My favourite position to play is as a box-to-box midfielder as I can join the attack, dictate the play and help the defence. Personally, I believe that defensive midfield is the most crucial position on the football pitch because it is the glue between the attack and the defence,” he added.

In 2019, Hans was part of the group that went to Germany with ACFA. This is where he participated in the U/11 and U/12 group. “The trip in 2019 with ACFA was a remarkable experience, which I will be forever grateful for. It helped me develop quite a

“However, the highlight of my football career is the school trip to Bloemfontein last year. There was great camaraderie within the squad, and the coach gave us a real sense of freedom to express ourselves.

“That tournament was amazing. We played against renowned academies such as Fulham, Norwich and Fortuna Düsseldorf. I realised that my opponents were quite physical. This forced me to try and outsmart the opponents as they were larger than I was. This was quite a valuable lesson to learn at that young age.”

The player’s grandfather, John Hans, and grand-uncle Willem Hans both played for Black Africa, while his father Bolle Hans played for African Stars, going as far as winning the league with them in 1994.

Bolle is happy with what his son has achieved so far. “He has the right mindset to become a professional footballer. This guy watches, talks, sleeps and trains football every day. 

“It was so bad that at one stage he wanted to wear football gear to church. My wife and I had to jump in and take him to Woolies. He knows the sacrifice that comes with becoming a professional footballer. There is a possibility of him being away from family and friends and nice parties for a long time. The latter is not something one can pursue if one wants to be a professional footballer, and he understands that,” added the father.

Ezekiel’s father has been alongside him since his first enrolment at Ramblers. “In his first year, he and his cousin Ruata Kaumbi did not make the team. But I told them to go to training and support the team when they played so that they can be part of the atmosphere,” narrated the father.

The youngster feels that he has given a good account of himself this season in the HopSol Youth League, as they have progressed to the next round. “We have had very good games and one or two unlucky games, whereby we could not get the result desired. All in all, we are developing and growing as a group, and I believe that we can be victorious at the end of the season,” he noted.

“In all honesty, last season we struggled as a group due to a few uncertainties, as we did not know who would be coaching the team. Because of this, we did not perform to the level we knew that we could, which was quite frustrating. 

“Personally, I struggled with an Anterior Cruciate Ligament injury last year, which cut my season short, and was quite difficult to overcome.”

Hans feels they can win Hopsol League this year, as they have an excellent squad and two committed coaches who want to see them improve. “If we can just fine-tune a few things at the training ground, I believe we have an excellent chance of winning the league for the first time in a while,” he enthused.