Jamaica women's national team and Houston Dash defender, Tiernny Wiltshire has a piece of advice for young women who want to go pro:
"The road is very unique so don’t look at others and compare yourself to their journey because everyone has a different road. Constantly and consistently work hard and always put your best foot forward no matter what."
Want to learn how Tiernny arrived to where she is today and can share valuable advice? Read on to learn more about this Reggae Girl!
Wandering eyes, this is Tiernny Wiltshire's story...
When did you realize you were good at football?
I realized I was good at football early on. Specifically, I remember the time I wasn’t quite old enough to be on a travel team but the coaches in my town wanted me to play for them so bad that I ended up playing a year up. As time went on, people would come up to my parents, leave notes on my car, and so on telling me how good I was.
How is it playing on the Jamaican Women’s national Team? What does it mean to be one of the “Reggae Girlz”? Can you tell me a little bit about how you came to play on the national team?
It’s been a huge blessing being able to play for the Jamaican women’s national team. As a whole, it has developed me as a person and player. I started to play with them in college. I was finally able to get called up to a camp because all of my paperwork and citizenship was cleared.
To be a "Reggae Girl" is not only something I’m super proud of but a huge honor for my family regarding what and who we represent. My family came to this country on a boat and being able to thank them by playing for our country is truly something I never thought would happen to me.
How does the football environment compare or differ in the States, Jamaica, and Israel?
I just got back from Finland so to be able to play in Europe after playing in the States and with Jamaica was a huge change in style of play. I was able to adapt relatively quick due to the different styles when I played with the Jamaican national team. But overall, the football environment no matter where you go will always be strong and great because that's what soccer does - it has the ability to bring out the best in people. It brings out their passionate side and allows people from all over to connect.
What are some goals or achievements that you wish to accomplish as a professional player?
Some goals that I wish to accomplish as a professional player are to go to the World Cup and the Olympics. I want to be able to play at the highest level.
If you could have any song play as you walk out onto the field before a big game, what song would it be?
The song will definitely be Hit About It by Lil Yachty and Kodak Black.
If you could tell a young girl who’s about to go into her first year of high school soccer with the ambitions of going pro one day, what would you want her to know about the road ahead?
The road is very unique so don’t look at others and compare yourself to their journey because everyone has a different road. To constantly and consistently work hard and always put your best foot forward no matter what. Give zero attitude because the journey is too long for that and lastly, enjoy and embrace every moment because soccer isn’t promised so make it your best and make it authentic.
Outside of football, what do you like to do for fun?
I love to shop, eat, and sleep - repeat. Also, hang out with friends and family.
The motto for my platform is, “united we see. united we hear. united we are.” Do you feel seen, heard, and valued within the world of football?
As a black player in a sport that is so diverse but yet one-sided, it’s definitely getting better. However, it can be better. I feel like a lot of times, something drastic has to happen in order for black players to be recognized - either good or bad. I just really want players to be recognized for their talent, ability, character, etc.
What are some issues that you want to see changed in football?
Overall, more respect for women’s football and equal pay. This is my dream career and how I earn my livelihood isn’t enough and professional players should not have to work two jobs in order to make a living for themselves!!
What does football mean to you?
Football is my life. It has helped and healed me in so many unimaginable ways. I never take it for granted especially the older I get because you never know when it could be your last game. I lean on this sport for everything: love, guidance, and happiness. It’s something that will always be a part of my heart!