Cayman Islands Women’s national team defender Sophia Dilbert is confident they can advance from the opening round of the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) Women’s Championship in Turks and Caicos.
Dilbert and the Cayman Islands national team opened their Group three campaign against St Kitts & Nevis on Friday, May 23 at the Turks and Caicos Football Association National Academy.
“I am confident we will be successful, Dilbert told Cayman Football.com. “We are putting the best foot forward with the intention of winning.”
Along with St Kitts and Nevis, Cayman tackles home team Turks and Caicos and Bermuda on their quest to advance to the Caribbean Football Union Final round of qualifiers scheduled for August in Trinidad and Tobago.
At 42 years old, Dilbert is the team’s older player, a characteristic not easily revealed at first glance; but more striking is her commitment to personal excellence on and off the field.
“Colloquially they call me ‘old foot’ (laughs) but they do look up to me.”
A mother of two, Dilbert is Director of Fiduciary Services with 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 correcting 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 said.”
Dilbert has played football in the Cayman Islands for 20 plus years, a record that surpasses the life span of most of the current national team players.
Ten players on the current squad participated in the CONCACAF Women’s Under 20 tournament back in January and Dilbert is pleased to see some of the players come of age.
She asserted, “I have watched every one of the players, join the league and develop through the years. 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 she can compete at the top level, she quipped, “I’ll go until my body tells me it’s time to pack it in.”