A WPD craftsman is preparing for the biggest football match of his life. He plays for minnows Westfields Football Club in their The Football Association Challenge Cup first-round tie against Curzon Athletic this weekend.
Kane Kahaki, 28, has worked for Western Power Distribution (WPD) for the last three years and also plays Center Back for the Hereford-based club, who are in the ninth-tier of the English Football League and the lowest ranked team left in this year’s tournament.
The team has played six matches just to get to this stage, beating a number of teams in higher leagues, including a 2-1 victory against Ryman League leaders Leiston in the last qualifying round.
“It’s been a crazy time,” Kane said. “We’ve been getting attention nationwide, with the likes of the BBC coming down to film us as well as The Sun newspaper.
“I realized that it was becoming a big deal just before our last match. I went on Twitter and we were getting loads of good luck messages from people and other football clubs across the country, which really gave us a boost. When we won the game, it was unbelievable. We had 750 fans watching, four times as many as usual, and when the final whistle blew, they ran onto the pitch to celebrate with us. Our manager had high hopes for us this season, but we never expected to get this far.”
During his working day, Kane helps to look after the underground electricity network in Hereford, jointing the cables that deliver power to homes across the Herefordshire area. He also fixes faults to get the lights back on in a power outage.
“The local guys at WPD have been very supportive of me and have been following our team’s progress,” Kane said. “Many are planning to cheer me on this Saturday, and I’m hoping the home advantage will help spur us on to win.”