It was a similar story for Jasmine as for many young girls of the time with girls’ teams often hard to come by. But she was not deterred and took any opportunity she could to play.
“I remember being 7 or 8 years-old at Tolgate Primary School, and there not being a girls’ team, so I had to play in the boys’ team, which I didn’t mind because I was definitely better than half of them!
“I had a teacher whilst I was there called Miss Trevett. She had coached and played football in America so she’s someone that was always good to look up to. I’ve bumped into her several times since and she’s always asked about my football.
“I played for Polegate Grasshoppers at a young age before I joined Eastbourne Borough around 11-years-old and that was when I started properly playing away from school.
“I went to multiple tournaments in a boys’ team where I was the only female there but that was normal to me and when I went to secondary school the boys often got more time put into them than the girls.
“It wasn’t until I joined Eastbourne Borough Girls when I was 14 I started realising the notable differences. When I got older and more mature that I fully understood the difference between the two genders.”
Jas then went on to play for Eastbourne Ladies under Adam Wolecki which appealed to her as a standalone women’s team, but it was a move to The Dockers where she shined both on and off the pitch.
“I certainly don’t want to speak ill of previous teams I’ve played for but the amazing thing for me now at Newhaven is that the whole club from the men’s team to the women’s team and all through the youth sides, the club is very equal. Regardless of your age and gender they just want the club to be successful.
“Female football has come a long way in that sense. There’s obviously a long way to go, of course there is, but certainly in Sussex, we’re fortunate to have so many fantastic teams.
“Competition is rife, and things have changed a lot, even to the pitches that we’re playing on compared to when I was younger, so things are definitely moving in the right direction.”
It was here at Newhaven that coaching was introduced to Jas, but it wasn’t a path she thought she would go down. Although, her passion for football and the leadership skills she possesses, surely meant this was a route she was made for.
“I never envisaged going into coaching! I changed my job and joined the Sussex Police as a trainer back in 2019, it was a lot of teaching but also a lot of coaching and mentoring because it’s helping people progress.
“I really enjoyed that aspect of it and I thought, ‘wow imagine if I could do that in football’ and combine the two things that I love.
“I spoke to my team manager, Andy Cook, at Newhaven who at time who was also running the under-16s girls at Newhaven and asked if there was any way I could get involved. Straight away they were very supportive, and the club paid for me to do my Level 1.
“Before I knew it I was training the girls and I was on the touchline. I actually think I might be starting to enjoy coaching more than playing although I probably shouldn’t be saying that!
“I just love it so much. The development side of things is amazing, and I think the more women we can get coaching not just in the women’s game but in the men’s game as well, the better, so we can work towards that level playing field.”