The night of Monday February 20 was only a regular day at Ken Sema’s Watford workplace.
The midfielder had simply scored two targets in a player-of-the-match efficiency because the Hornets beat West Brom 3-2 at Vicarage Highway and, as he had many occasions earlier than, he was near shifting previous the cameras. .
Nonetheless, this time was totally different as Sema, who has stuttered for the reason that age of six, went viral after being praised by the footballing world and past for his brave post-match interview.
“It was a bit unusual, I am not going to lie,” he stated Sky Sports activities Information in an unique interview. “Clearly I had an excellent sport, I used to be participant of the sport, I scored two targets and the workforce gained. Every little thing was high-quality and people had been comfortable days.
“Hastily I did an interview, which was regular as a result of I have been right here for 5 years and I’ve performed 10 to fifteen interviews with cameras and every little thing, however that was totally different, and that has simply exploded.”
Sema, who joined Watford from Ostersunds in July 2018, has actually felt the love of soccer and the world as he was praised for having the boldness to talk in a post-match interview, which has now been considered 40 million occasions.
He stated: “At first I used to be simply pondering how come? I did a standard interview after I gained the sport and now I hear issues like, what man, a task mannequin, an inspiration and a hero.
“I did not see it as a result of I did not really feel prefer it. It was only a regular factor for me.”
He added: “There was a lot love. There was a lot happiness and pleasure. I used to be touched emotionally as a result of I did not power something. I did not say something due to it, it was simply regular.
“However I am comfortable and grateful for all the type messages.”
Sema’s stutter developed when he was at college in Sweden. He acquired skilled assist in the type of speech remedy rising up, however extremely, it did not show to be very useful for him as he all the time spoke completely when he was there.
“I began having a stutter once I was six years previous. It got here out of nowhere. I did not know the way, and I did not know why. I had simply come dwelling from faculty someday and I began speaking just a little in a different way.
“At first it was only a enjoyable factor I attempted once I was six years previous. I do not know, but it surely caught with me. After I was just a little older, 10 or 11, I felt like that was me now and I converse just a little in a different way.
“My household all the time stated it was not an issue. I attempted to talk with a speech remedy instructor however each time I went I by no means had a stutter. They had been like ‘why am I ‘was there and did I really want it?’ They thought I spoke completely nicely.”
Since his early days in Sweden, Sema loved a profitable soccer profession which took him to England the place he revamped 100 appearances for Watford.
The 29-year-old additionally competed within the Olympics for Sweden and made 14 appearances for his or her nationwide workforce.
Has his stutter ever had an influence on his soccer? Sema insists his soccer was by no means affected, even referring to his Watford initiation track.
“It by no means occurred to me,” Sema stated.
“I assumed coming abroad to England it might be bizarre or unusual to have a stutter however the reality is no one actually cared. Nobody requested me as a result of I used to be all the time me, attempting to speak to everybody and attempting to be concerned.
“I by no means felt anybody enthusiastic about why I spoke like that or desirous to ask me what my deal was. I’ve had nice teammates and coaches who’ve been calm about it. They requested me how. I felt about it.
“While you’re new to a workforce and it’s important to sing an initiation track, I do not thoughts. I can try this. I did Stand by Me, which is a go-to track for me. I do not thoughts not standing in entrance of a crowd, saying my identify and the place I am from and singing.
“Perhaps it is as a result of I like doing it and I am not afraid of it. These interviews, spotlights and cameras, it is okay as a result of it is clearly my job and it is within the public eye.
“You are a footballer, everybody is aware of you and that is regular for me I suppose. Nonetheless, I do know lots of people will wrestle and have challenges in entrance of the group, but it surely’s about attempting to ‘have self-confidence and keep calm.’
When requested if his stutter ever bothered him when he was youthful, he added: “I by no means noticed it as an issue for me.
“I am an outspoken man, I like to speak, I prefer to chortle and make jokes, I dance, I sing and every little thing. I’ve by no means seen that as an issue like I can not converse in public, or I can’ I do not go in entrance of a crowd as a result of I am shy, I am not that sort of man.
“However clearly once I was youthful it was a bit totally different. In school you do not know how your folks and classmates are going to react, but it surely’s extra about the way you see your self. than how folks round you see you as a result of it seems like nobody actually cares the way you speak or the way you look.
“As quickly as you are comfortable sufficient to be you, that is all that issues.”
Trying again, what would Sema’s message be to her 10-year-old self?
“If I used to be younger and noticed myself now, I might suppose ‘wow’. I might suppose he is like me and if he can do it, I can do it. It is not like you possibly can’t not develop into a footballer as a result of you might have a stutter.
“It is not an issue. If I can do it, then he can do it too. You do not have to cease your desires. It is free to dream. Simply attempt to be you as a result of it is your superpower.
“As a human being, you all the time suppose the worst, whereas others round you, your family and friends, do not actually care for those who generally converse with a stutter. It would not have an effect on folks round you. YOU.”
And at last, with Sema nonetheless a few years forward of him in soccer, has the response to his interview probably modified what comes after soccer?
No matter occurs subsequent, Sema could be very eager to construct on the optimistic influence of his “regular” interview.
He stated: “Every little thing that occurred might truly be for one thing extra. It is greater than me.
“But when I might help in any means, even when it is the smallest factor, I’ll do it each time.”
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