Brianna Hydes (#9) is captain of the Cayman Islands under-20 national team. (Photo: Mexsport)
GEORGE TOWN, Cayman Islands -- Brianna Hydes may be only 19-years-old, but she already feels like a veteran footballer. After all, she joined the Cayman Islands women’s program a decade ago.
Now team captain, Hydes has gleaned plenty of pointers from numerous coaches, training camps, tournaments, opponents and teammates over the years.
At the CONCACAF Women’s Under-20 Championship, currently being held in the Cayman Islands, the defensive center midfielder has showed her tremendous competitive spirit.
“I feel it’s been an extreme honor to play in so many different competitions over the years,” she said after Sunday’s loss to Trinidad & Tobago, a result that eliminated Cayman from semifinal contention. “This tournament has been a different experience because I’m the older one in the squad, helping the younger ones grow.
“It has been a challenge at times, but it’s been a great experience because I’ve already been through it and help lift them up. I was once a 13-year-old playing alongside women and now it’s exciting to see the younger girls coming up and grow like I did.”
Hydes started playing the sport when her father Brian was coach at Future Sports Club in West Bay. A succession of clubs followed before getting a football scholarship to Southern Wesleyan University in South Carolina, where she is studying criminal justice.
Professional football is top of her wish list, but if that doesn’t come off Hydes is hankering on becoming a detective or work in a related career.
“Becoming a football pro is any girl’s dream that’s in love with the sport, but better to get the education first because you always have to have something to fall back on,” Hydes concluded. “I’m enjoying the CONCACAF tournament and watching the stronger teams and seeing how it all plays out, especially for the younger girls.
“This is awesome.”