One on One with SA U19 Girls Soccer Star Snenhlanhla Shozi

Mon, 02/09/2013 - 12:25
  • SnenhIanhla Shozi
  • SnenhIanhla Shozi

16 year old footballing talent Snenhlanhla Shozi, who was recently selected for the SA U19 girls soccer team, attends grade 11 at Kloof High School where she holds a sporting scholarship. Sne’s love for soccer started at a young age through the influence of her brothers and her own personal interest.

Sne grew up playing soccer with her brothers and her talent has been well nurtured by the three coaches that have influenced her personal and footballing career.

I caught up with Sne after her recent SA U19 girls soccer selection.

What are your earliest footballing memories, when did you start playing soccer, and when did you start loving the game?
SnenhIanhla Shozi: started playing soccer in grade 5 at Mzamo Primary School, then I continued playing for the school and ended up playing provincially after I was selected at Richards Bay. Then I was picked up by a Coach who then put me in his team.

Then I played at the Kwanaloga games in 2010 [KwaZulu Natal Local Government Association] while I was in grade 8 at Mnyameni Secondary School, which is a school in KwaNyuswa [Bothas Hill]. Then in 2011, 2012, I continued playing at that tournament and this year the Kwanaloga games have yet to start.

The team I play for at the moment is Shooting Stars, a team based in Musgrave, coached by my coach Lewis Donnelly. I’m currently studying at Kloof High School this year after I received a scholarship.

Who supports you the most with your passion for football?

But she tries everything in her power to make sure I carry on playing soccer because she wants me to play soccer and she supports me in every way

SnenhIanhla Shozi: The people who support me the most are my family and my Mother. My mom is not a person who works after she suffered a stroke, she used to work at Spar, now she doesn’t work anymore. But she tries everything in her power to make sure I carry on playing soccer because she wants me to play soccer and she supports me in every way, along with my brothers and my uncles and aunts.

What made you fall in love with football?
SnenhIanhla Shozi: What made me love football, when I was young I always pictured myself playing football, and I was surrounded by my brothers who always played soccer, so I would end up playing with them every time they went to the field.

Who was your role model growing up?
SnenhIanhla Shozi: My role model as I was growing up, most of my family supports Kazier Chiefs so the person I used to enjoy watching play was Tshabalala. I like his style of play, his shots, skills, and passing.

What are your short term and long term goals in your personal life and in your football career?
SnenhIanhla Shozi: At the moment I’d like people to know about me as a player, people to know about how I started playing. I mean people know about me but not at the level I’d like them to, then I’d like to play for SA and in 10 years I’d like to have my own team of players who I will train from a young age, and from there I’d like to change my family's lives.

How would you describe the role your coaches have in your life and how would you say they’ve helped you improve as a player and as a person?

I must remind myself where I come from and where I want to go with my life

SnenhIanhla Shozi: I’ll start with my Coach Pitso. I used to play soccer for a boys team called History Makers at KwaNyuswa, Coach Pitso made me play for Shooting Stars, and when I got there I met Coach Lewis Donnelly who sent me to Kloof and organised my SA trials where I was selected for the SA U19 team. Coach Pitso is a great Coach, he keeps advising me, often telling me that whatever I do in my life I need to focus and forget about boys and stuff, and I must remind myself where I come from and where I want to go with my life. And Coach Lewis Donnelly, he also helped me grow. He showed me another way of playing soccer and made me realise that when I’m on the field I must relax and communicate with players. He also trained me well and I can see the levels of improvement.

Then I got to Kloof High School where I met Coach Andy Ngcobo who teaches me in his own method and I can see where it can take me. Coach Lewis and Andy’s coaching is different and suits both my styles of play. When I play at Kloof I play with people who I don’t play with at my football club. When I’m at my football club there’s a lot more pressure, but when I’m at Kloof and Coach Andy sees that we're not scoring he tells me to take the ball and go score. But Coach Lewis Donnelly often tells me to let the ball do the work and we must play passing football, so there’s a difference in their methods and they're both good for me.

What do you think the benefits of soccer are for you?
SnenhIanhla Shozi: What I love about football is that it brings me closer to people, and it teaches me how to read people, football also requires time and dedication, it keeps me healthy, I make lot of friends and it teaches me how to respect people.

Women’s football isn’t as big as men’s soccer, where do you see SA women’s football going?
SnenhIanhla Shozi: I’ve played soccer with boys and girls before, the challenge is more for boys 'cause I was a girl playing with boys only, I was able to hold my own against them. With girls football it’s good and I see girl’s football going forward judging from where I’ve come in a short space of time.

Do you see girl’s football getting more attention and developing in this country?
SnenhIanhla Shozi: It’s developing but not at the rate of boy’s soccer as most people are interested in boys soccer and don’t care about girls soccer, but judging from my own life and how far soccer has taken me I see development happening.

You seem like a person who’ll never stop playing soccer, so what’s your motivation in life, and what message do you have for kids that are growing up and would like to play soccer?

to the kids that want to play soccer, they must know that they must be determined as you won’t go straight up to the top

SnenhIanhla Shozi: To all the young kids who dream of playing soccer, and to the ones that have role models: When I wake I up I know I have to go to school, I return from school and I go train, that’s if I don’t train at school, I love training every day. If I don’t train I feel like there’s something missing in my day. Then I’ll get home, do a few chores and then I study. That helps me a lot 'cause I know if I don’t train today I know that there’s something of equal importance that I have to do as my life is in order.

And to the kids that want to play soccer, they must know that they must be determined as you won’t go straight up to the top, and you must know that in soccer people do you favours, 'cause I could play well and not make the SA team, as people are doing other people favours, so you must understand that and be persistent.

And if you know where you want to go in life, don’t listen to what people say because people will always be talking and if you can’t play well just practice, practice, practice, and you’ll be fine.

Comments

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

All i can say is that im so very proud of my sister Sinenhlanhla Shozi because at first i didnt take her serious because im not a kind of a person who loves soccer so everytime we were together or everytime i paid her a visit i was always saying that dont go to jim because i will get bord and this thing of yours is not good saying all the nasty things because i love her and i always want her to be here besides me but now she tought me a lesson that you cant drive a car without an ingine you are an ingine of your own im so proud of you my sister everytime i look at the other girls who sharing their sistership it just reminds me of you that i wish you were here we miss you cc As MNYAMENI AND WE ALSO LOVE YOU THERE ARE ALWAYS SAYING THAT YOU ARE GOING PLACES MAY GOD BE WITH YOU Sinenhlanhla :)

Submitted by Ncane (not verified) on

Sne dawg kip working hard u knw we hv been in these tng 4 so long,playin 2geda bt gladly amongs us u've been d best out of d best,don't 4get u hometown much lv ntwana

Submitted by mbalenhle (not verified) on

Ncoooh Sne keep up the good work my friend#love you

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