• Sunday May 25, 2014

    Dilbert uses experience to guide Cayman women

    At 42-years-old, Sophia Dilbert (pictured) shows no signs of letting up with the Cayman Islands women's national team.

    GEORGE TOWN, Cayman Islands - At 42 years old, Cayman Islands women’s national team defender Sophia Dilbert is the squad’s oldest player, a characteristic not easily revealed at first glance; but more striking is her commitment to personal excellence on and off the field.

    Dilbert and Cayman are currently in the Turks & Caicos Islands, contesting opening round play in the inaugural Caribbean Football Union Women’s Caribbean Cup – the region’s qualifying tournament for the 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship, which will earn three teams automatic places at the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

    “Colloquially they call me ‘old foot’, but they do look up to me,” Dilbert laughingly told the Cayman Islands Football Association website.

     A mother of two, Dilbert is Director of Fiduciary Services with a world-renowned financial services firm, while still marshalling the defence for Sunset FC, the reigning Cayman Islands women’s club champions.

    On and off the pitch, one common duty for Dilbert is responsibility, a role she relishes with the national team.

    “I am here to support and reassure the girls in any way I can.” 

    Even if that means instructing her teammates in a maternal fashion.

    “On the pitch it’s difficult, you try to be positive and reassuring, but off the pitch I reprimand and speak with them, not in an embarrassing way, but as a parent would,” she noted.

    Dilbert has played football in the Cayman Islands for more than 20 plus years, a record that surpasses the actual age of many current national team members; 10 of whom participated in the CONCACAF Women’s Under 20 tournament in January.  She is pleased to see their progression. 

    “I have watched every one of the players, join the league and develop through the years,” said Dilbert.  “From the primary level straight to the women’s league, I have watched their growth and development and with each tournament they are getting stronger and better.”

    When asked, how much longer competing at the top level is possible, she quipped, “I’ll go until my body tells me it’s time to pack it in.”

    There’s no reason to believe that will happen anytime soon.

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