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T&T's Crys­tal Sobers was vot­ed the sec­ond best fe­male ref­er­ee in Con­ca­caf for 2018. Her plac­ing was de­cid­ed based on votes among na­tion­al team head coach­es, na­tion­al team cap­tains, ex­perts from the me­dia in Con­ca­caf and fans across the globe.

Sobers fin­ished sec­ond be­hind Mex­i­co’s Lu­cila Vene­gas, while Car­ol Anne Chenard of Cana­da placed third. She was the on­ly T&T na­tion­al nom­i­nat­ed in all cat­e­gories for Con­ca­caf’s best of 2018 awards.

On Wednes­day Sobers said she was still com­ing to terms with the ac­com­plish­ment but put it down to com­mit­ment and per­se­ver­ance in the field.

“I am still di­gest­ing this re­ward of ac­knowl­edge­ment of my com­mit­ment and de­liv­er­ance on the field of play. I feel re­al­ly in­spired to con­tin­ue my jour­ney to­wards ex­cel­lence,” Sobers told TTFA Me­dia.

Sobers of­fi­ci­at­ed at the CON­CA­CAF Un­der-20 Women’s Cham­pi­onship in 2018, earn­ing a fourth of­fi­cial ap­point­ment in the fi­nal at IMG Acad­e­my in Flori­da, USA. She al­so car­ried the whis­tle at the CFU Women’s Chal­lenge se­ries, the Cen­tral Amer­i­can Women World Cup qual­i­fiers, the CAC Games in Colom­bia and the CON­CA­CAF Women’s cham­pi­onship (Fi­nal round of World Cup qual­i­fiers) in Texas.

“Be­ing pas­sion­ate about this game, I have ac­cept­ed that it does not come with a price but more so, the en­er­gy that fu­els the need to en­joy the game for the best of what it has to of­fer. The CON­CA­CAF Un­der-20s was a step­ping stone for me be­ing among the Tier 1 refs and ex­celling to the fi­nal as fourth of­fi­cial,” she added.

As to what she be­lieves is her main at­trib­ut­es, Sobers said, “My per­for­mance on the field comes from a foun­da­tion of calm­ness and strength. I have learned a lot as a play­er so un­der­stand­ing the game and the use of my per­son­al­i­ty to­wards the play­ers has made it eas­i­er for all of us to en­joy the game.”

Sobers wants to see more women get in­volved in ref­er­ee­ing in T&T and is al­so en­cour­ag­ing her male com­pa­tri­ots to keep as­pir­ing to­wards be­com­ing in­ter­na­tion­al ref­er­ees.

“You have to love the game in or­der to be­come a ref­er­ee. It’s not an easy ca­reer but once you have a sense of hu­mour, a will­ing­ness to lis­ten and en­dure tir­ing train­ing ses­sions on and off the field, the vast op­por­tu­ni­ties are there to taste this won­der­ful ca­reer in ref­er­ee­ing,” Sobers said.

TTFA Pres­i­dent David John-Williams al­so cred­it­ed Sobers for her ac­com­plish­ment, say­ing her achieve­ment was tes­ti­mo­ny to her ded­i­ca­tion and com­mit­ment and urged her to con­tin­ue striv­ing for ex­cel­lence in the field along with her oth­er ref­er­ee­ing com­pan­ions who will be an­nounced as T&T’s of­fi­cials re­ceiv­ing their FI­FA badges for 2019 at a press con­fer­ence next Wednes­day at the Home of Foot­ball.

One of T&T’s FI­FA’s ref­er­ees Caleb Wales al­so ex­tend­ed con­grat­u­la­tion to Sobers her on her run­ner up po­si­tion for 2018. He said, “She’s the em­bod­i­ment of hard work pay­ing off. I’ve seen the ef­fort she puts in on and off the field and this sec­ond place fin­ish is the re­sult of that ef­fort. She has in­cred­i­ble fo­cus and it will take her far.”