Jermaine Seoposenwe: South African soccer superstar

Ashton Nix

 

Sophomore Jermaine Seoposenwe is one of, if not the most, talented soccer players Samford has ever seen.

She grew up in Cape Town, South Africa and played on several African national teams before coming to Samford. She would’ve competed in the 2012 Olympics had she not been injured. Most recently, she was selected to play in the Cyprus Cup — a highly respected tournament in which national teams from around the world are invited to play.

 

AN: Tell me about your childhood, growing up in South Africa, and how you got into soccer.

 

JS: At my elementary school I was a bit of a tomboy. There were guys kicking a soccer ball around and I thought that I could do it as well, so I started playing with them. One of our PE teachers told me that I should join the school team. So I grew up playing with mostly boys.

AN: Do you feel that playing with boys instead of girls as you grew up helped you to improve at a younger age?

 

JS: The boys made me so tough. They didn’t go light on the tackles when we played games. I think that’s why I’m so competitive, because I always had to compete with all the boys on my team. They really made me a good player.

 

AN: So what made you eventually want to come to Samford?

 

JS: Well I went to college in South Africa for a year, which was miserable. It was okay in terms of soccer, but I just didn’t like the experience as a whole. One day my dad asked “Do you still want to go to the U.S. and play soccer and go to college there?” That was always what I wanted.

The assistant coach, Jay (Yelton), called me and we started talking, and he was just so excited about soccer and everything. He made me excited to come to Samford.

 

AN: And you still feel that, ultimately, you made the right decision to leave your school back home and come to Samford?

 

JS: I do. I feel like at Samford the soccer is on a way higher level than what I was playing back home. I can see how much I’ve grown since I left my old school. It helps me when I go back home to play with my national team.

 

AN: You addressed how much you’ve learned from your teammates through soccer, but once you’re off the field are you still very close with all of them?

 

JS: On the field, they think that I’m crazy because I yell a lot [laughs]. On the field it’s all about business for me. That’s just how I am. Off the field, we’re good, but as soon as we step on that field I go into a different mode.

 

AN: You were selected to compete in the Cyprus Cup in March. I bet it felt good to get that call.

JS: Yeah, when we went back for the spring semester I went to my coach and I was like, “So… I have to tell you something. I got called up to go to Cyprus and I’m going to have to miss like two weeks of school to go.” He just said, “Okay, we need to see if we can make this happen.”

 

AN: So how did your teachers feel about you missing two weeks of class?

 

JS: Well my coach and I spoke to all of my advisers and they were fine with it, but I knew it was going to be hard. When I came back, I just had loads of work, and tests and things that I had missed. I wouldn’t recommend to anyone to leave school for two weeks [laughs].

 

AN: Schoolwork aside, what was your experience competing in the Cyprus Cup like?

JS: It was an awesome experience. We got to play international teams, which was cool because usually we just play other African teams. Playing teams that were going to be playing in the World Cup, like Mexico, was great because those are the teams that you want to play to see where you are as a player in the international spectrum.

 

AN: What are your goals as you continue to move forward in your journey with soccer?

 

JS: Olympic qualifying is coming up, so my short-term goal is to help my team qualify for that. We play Nigeria at the end of the year and that’s the game that decides if we qualify or not. I do want to play professionally. I don’t know where yet, but when I get to that point I’ll probably figure out where I want to go. I want to go to the World Cup one day.

AN: But one way or another we’ll see you playing soccer on TV someday, right?

 

JS: Hopefully! That’s my goal [laughing].

 

2 comments

  1. Dlamini PTA says:

    Proud of Jermaine especially at national team level. We missed her presences last year at the African Women’s Championship, maybe the outcome of the tournment would’ve been different like*qualifying to the world cup*.

    She must remember that she is a student first and then an athlete. I hope see will be there at the All Africa Games taking place this year in Congo.

    With South Africa’s and Africa’s Portia Modise (104 goals) all time goalscorer retired, I think she is one the best we have in the country and one of the players that can fill Portia’s boots.

    Its would be nice to see one of own being scooped up by a team in NWSL. She must know that we (SA) are proud of her and wish her all the best in her schooling and in her future footballing career.

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