George ‘Sowa’ Dublin is rated as one of Antigua and Barbuda’s best footballer ever.

The Captain of the national team has had approximately fifteen years playing as a professional; and has to his credit 10 international goals and 65 national caps.

“Growing up I wasn’t someone who took things seriously. I never made a fuss about anything, but had a ‘so what?’ approach and attitude towards everything,” he said.

Perhaps it would be acceptable to suggest that if we were an ultra disciplined English speaking society, his alias would have been, ‘so what’, but as a result of the contrary, it was amusingly downgraded to So-wa.

“As little a boy I played around, just for fun but in terms of team football, I first played for the village team Seabreeze when I was 12 years old.”

It wasn’t very long before his skills were recognized by the keen eyes of Pat Mail and after transitioning from the Green Bay Primary to Ottos Comprehensive school he would be respectively outfitted in the under 13, 16 and 20 league uniforms.

It was impossible for his extraordinary leadership ability to be kept a secret; so throughout his secondary school years it was noticed and employed.

The records are in bold letters to prove that his association with the game was no mistake and he’s had many memorable moments.

“Topping the list would be Antigua’s historic advance to the second round of the World Cup Qualifying matches. That was sheer joy but of course the ultimate would be to qualify for the finals,” he suggested.

Although a mammoth task; he harbours dreams of Antigua and Barbuda qualifying for football’s biggest outing and believes it is attainable.

“We have roughly four months to go before our next encounters and this is sufficient time for us to practice so we can ease through the second round and further strengthen as a team to take on the bigger challenges.”

His impressive resume includes being named captain of the national side when he was only twenty years old; the youngest ever to date.

He is the most experienced player and the first to play professionally.

He was contracted by Trinidad’s Joe Public for two periods; between 2000-2002 and 2004-2005. He would later play for Tobago United; between 2007 – 2008.

Green Bay Hoppers named him most influential and inspirational player in the 2000-2001 Season and he has played as a stubborn defender for the national team for the past ten years.

As one born to lead Sowa has been the captain of the Green Bay Hoppers for a number of years, has played similar roles for the under 20 and 23 teams, the Senior National team, Tobago FC and Joe Public FC.

The highly motivational Dublin says his tenure in Trinidad and Tobago served as a marketing tool and added that it could also be considered a stepping stone that saw others from Antigua and Barbuda being later contracted to play football in the land of Soca.

He describes himself as a true patriot and one who embraces team spirit; and would seize any opportunity that would take Antigua and Barbuda’s football to the next level.

“I believe in team spirit and not individualism. When everyone’s mind is so conditioned we can only continue to improve as a unit,” he said, adding that although it would be good to play for an international club his focus rests on the development of football in Antigua and Barbuda.

There is much to confirm that Dublin’s talents go beyond the field of play.

He was the first to establish a soccer team at Youth Skills and is the holder of a level 2 coaching license which qualifies him to coach at any level in the Caribbean.

On his way up the ladder he has had the strong and committed hands of several persons.

“Nando Abraham has been by key motivator and Londale Benjamin the most influential father figure I have,” he said. And even though there are scores of internationally known footballers he names his fellow country man Cheyenne Jeffers as his favorite player whom he describes as “versatile”.

“Cheyenne and I are in the same age group but I have a lot of respect for him. Not only is he a very cool guy but a talented footballer who plays well in just about every position,’ Dublin offered.

Benna Boy ‘Sowa’ as the team’s leader and a true patriot is hoping to see the nation’s flag raised high throughout the second round matches and eventually at the finals of FIFA World Cup 2014 in Brazil.

Timothy Page
News Pages Antigua