We had the amazing opportunity to speak with former Wofford College and current College of Charleston goalkeeper John Cetin about his journey from youth soccer standout in South Carolina to Division One college goalkeeper. Take some time and enjoy this great interview!
1. You had a successful youth soccer career, winning a South Carolina state championship in 2014. How do you think your youth career prepared you for the collegiate level?
Playing at the highest level through my youth years helped me prepare for the collegiate level. The club I played for in my youth years gave me the opportunity to play up two years which helped me develop skills faster. But still, I had to adjust to the speed of play in college.
2. What was your college recruiting experience like? When did you start talking to coaches, visiting campuses, etc.?
It was definitely a journey. I started going to ID camps and played with a PDL team when I was in eighth grade. When I was a sophomore or junior I didn’t have many offers so I started reaching out to coaches all over the country. And when I entered the portal, it was like starting all over from scratch.
3. You started your college career at Wofford. Talk to us about your decision to go there.
Wofford’s coach, Joel Tyson, came out to one of my club sessions during the week and I ended up playing well then he pulled me to the side at the end and was interested in me. Wofford was the only offer that caught my eye with the school being in state and a great school. It was a no-brainer to go there.
4. You spent two seasons at Wofford but didn't see any game action. What was your mentality like throughout those two years?
Coming in as a freshman, I knew it was an opportunity to grow as a player and adapt to the college's speed. I tried to absorb as much information as I could from the upperclassmen keepers. My mentality was to get better every day and try my best to be the best version of myself.
5. How did you make the decision to transfer? Why did you choose College of Charleston?
At first, I talked to my old club coach and told him about my situation at Wofford and he said “if you even have a thought about transferring then do it” and those words stuck with me. At Wofford, we didn’t have a specific goalkeeper coach that would train us every day. Looking for a new home I knew I wanted a school that had a keeper coach. Goalkeeper training is all about being consistent and training one on one with a coach was my main priority. I chose the College of Charleston because it is closer to home, its state, has a great staff, including a keeper coach, and after speaking to the head coach and staff, I knew it was the place I needed to be.
6. What was the transition period like going from one college environment to a completely new one?
Transitioning to a new school was something I looked forward to actually. I love meeting new people and the guys here at CofC were more than welcoming so it made it easier to become a part of the family.
7. What are some of the challenges of balancing division one college soccer and your academics?
The most challenging part of balancing academics and athletics is definitely time management. Some days when I'm slammed with projects and homework it feels like there are not enough hours in a day. During the season, buses were my new “library”.
8. What goals do you have for the 2022 fall season?
My main goal for the 2022 season is to win a CAA championship with my team whether I'm playing or supporting the #1. My other goal is to be better than I was last season and to be the best version of myself.
9. Any advice for the next generation of goalkeepers aspiring to reach the collegiate level of soccer?
If anyone tells you that you are not good enough, ignore them and keep chasing your dream. Work hard because nothing is given, and most importantly never give up.
10. Last, but not least, who is your favorite goalkeeper currently?