World Cup qualifiers rekindle women’s senior program

The Cayman Islands women’s national team opens its World Cup qualifying campaign in the Caribbean Cup tournament in Turks and Caicos this weekend. 

Cayman play St. Kitts and Nevis on Friday, Bermuda on Sunday and Turks and Caicos on Wednesday.  

Director of National Teams Renard Moxam says he is confident the squad can advance past the group stage, which would be a big accomplishment for a senior program that has been dormant for years. 

The squad includes Sunset defender Sophia Dilbert, 42, and Sunset keeper Jovani Hessing, 34, but most of the side featured in the CONCACAF Under-20 matches in January. They include Nicole Whittaker, Shanelle Frederick and Amanda Nelson, all of whom did well despite Cayman losing all three games.  

“To advance from this group and get into the second phase would be a tremendous step for local football,” Moxam said. “We put tremendous amount of work in. The organization is improving as we speak. I think it will sort of assist us in relaunching the sport of football and especially women’s football in our community.” 

Cayman’s women’s national team last played an international match seven years ago and is not considered in the FIFA world rankings due to inactivity. 

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Renard Moxam is optimistic.

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Shanelle Frederick (red, left) and Nicole Whittaker have graduated to the senior side. – PHOTOS: RON SHILLINGFORD
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