What got you started with football?

The people from Mamelodi. At the time I started playing there were many soccer players from Mamelodi [in my hometown] so it became like a dream for most of the young boys there in my township to be like those that play in the PSL.

So you’ve finished your first-year at the University of Pretoria. How has balancing the footballing and educational experience been for you?

To be honest with you it’s been a bit difficult balancing the two but I’ve pulled through, not bad. I have time to focus on my studies and focus on my football so I don’t think it’s very difficult in that sense, but I enjoy the challenge.

You scored a great free kick in the Varsity Cup final. How often do you practice your free kicks?

[M]aybe before or after [every training] session, [I’ll] hit like 20 balls and try to put them all in, so I think it paid off in that tournament. People think it just happens, but it takes a lot of dedication and hard-work.

Do you think enough is being done to help Varsity Cup players make it into the ABSA PSL?

To be honest with you I wouldn’t say there’s an effort being [made] for players from the Varsity Cup to go through to the PSL, because if [you] look at last year’s Varsity Cup, (TUKS won the Varsity Cup last year), none of [the] players are in the PSL now. Only one player from [last year’s] tournament made it into the PSL, which is Thabo Mnyamane from North West University. Even this year no one made it, but I think it can be improved by maybe extending the tournament.

What is the best advice you ever received? What advice would you give to young players?

Never compromise just to make other people happy. Just be yourself and people will like you the way you are, and if they don’t that’s their problem. Advice I would give is just keep pushing and be patient. Don’t rush things, you don’t rush success, success will follow you, just keep on working hard.

Jeremiah Nkwana. Image: SoccerLaduma.co.za

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