Sam Kerr was always destined for greatness, just not in an academic sense – with the Matildas captain revealing she was almost kicked out of high school for being ‘naughty’.
The star Chelsea striker is recovering from a calf injury and is racing to be fit to play for Australia against Denmark in their World Cup elimination match on Monday night.
In the lead-up the tournament, she spoke on the Disney+ documentary Matildas: The World At Our Feet about her early days attending Samson Primary School and Somerville Baptist College, now known as Kennedy Baptist College, in Perth.
‘As a kid, all I wanted to do was play sport,’ she said.
‘I was just a normal, like, grubby 10-year-old. I never wanted to brush my hair, I never paid attention at school.
‘I was naughty. I got asked to leave in Year Nine.’
Kerr made the startling confession while filming the documentary Matildas: The World at Our Feet for Disney+
Kerr described herself as a grubby kid who never brushed her hair and just wanted to play sport all the time
Kerr (pictured when she attended Samson Primary School in Perth) always had a cheeky streak
While Kerr managed to convince the school that she should remain, she wasn’t always in class as her football star continued to shine.
‘I had Sam in my Year 10 English class at Somerville. She was often away since, even as a 15 year-old, she was in the Matildas squad and had numerous tournaments and training camps to attend,’ English teacher Andrew Burton told The West.
‘I would describe her at that time as having a lively, fun-loving personality with a cheeky sense of humour. She was clearly focused on pursuing her passion for soccer but never big-noted herself, in terms of showing off or bragging about her achievements.’
That love of football was also evident from a younger age, with Samson Primary School teacher Marion Burt recalling that Kerr was destined for success even at such a young age.
‘We have what is called a sports award when our students graduate. She received the sports award for the year that she was leaving the school,’ she said.
‘My very last line of her award said “Samantha, we look forward to following your international career”.
‘I take pride in the fact that I must have known, there must have been something in her that sort of said she was going to go far.’
Fast-forward to today and Kerr’s partner Kristie Mewis told the Matildas documentary that the striker possesses natural leadership qualities that meant she was always destined for success.
‘As a person, as a teammate, as a leader, she is kind of like the whole package,’ Mewis said.
‘And I think that is something that everybody strives to be, but she naturally has it.
‘So I think that is super-inspiring and I think that anyone would be lucky to have her on their team.’
Kerr is regarded as one of the best players in the world and football was far more interesting to her than study in her early days
Kerr (pictured at Matildas training on Friday) is working hard to get her calf injury right so she can appear in the knockout stages of the FIFA Women’s World Cup
Kerr’s partner Kristie Mewis (pictured together) said the Aussie skipper has natural leadership qualities that come naturally for her
But Kerr insists she is nobody special and puts her shoes on one foot at a time just like everybody else.
‘I am the same as every other person, some days I wake up and feel like crap and I don’t want to go to training,’ she said.
‘As captain of the team, I am not this motivational captain or stand up there and give these amazing speeches.
‘But I am doing everything I can to make us win.
‘There is so much pressure to perform well and do something amazing for our country.
‘The Matildas have become a household name and everyone expects them to win.’
The six-part documentary Matildas: The World at Our Feet is available to stream on Disney+ now.