Reggae Girl Tiernny Wiltshire ready to make mark in Israel

Reggae Girl Tiernny Wiltshire ready to make mark in Israel

BY SHERDON COWAN
Observer staff reporter
cowans@jamaicaobserver.com

Saturday, December 05, 2020

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Tiernny Wiltshire is qualified enough to launch a career in the top branch of law enforcement.

But, the American-born Reggae Girl, who holds a bachelor's degree in criminal justice and psychology, currently has no interest in testing the waters of law and order.

Football is where her heart lies for the moment.

For Wiltshire, having a major that sets her up to succeed later in life is all well and good, but for now the only success story she wants written is one on the football field.

“That [law enforcement] is not what I want to do. Football is where my focus is right now and it is something that I want to do for a while. But I am happy that I have options in terms of a solid education to fall back on if and when I decide to hang up my cleats after a while,” Wiltshire, who graduated Rutgers University in May, told the Jamaica Observer.

At the New Jersey-based university, Wiltshire scored four goals in 70 appearances, while steadily and confidently working to improve her craft for the transition, knowing very well the obligations at the professional level will no doubt test her mental and physical ability both on and off the field.

To write the new chapter of what she hopes will be a long and glorious career, Wiltshire recently inked her first professional contract with Emek Hefer, competing in the Israeli Women's Premier League, where she is expected to rub shoulders with Reggae Girlz teammate Sashana “Pete” Campbell.

This one-year deal with one of Israel's top clubs came at an opportune time for Wiltshire, who was virtually at her wits' end playing the waiting game to make the transition due to the uncertainties brought about by the novel coronavirus pandemic.

“It [the transition] was just honestly super unpredictable because of COVID impacting leagues so hard. I just didn't know I would be able to sign with a team so soon, I thought I would have had to wait until January but that would have been too late for me.

“So I am happy that my agent Lenny [Leonard] Lun at Upper V Athletes helped me come across this wonderful opportunity so all my training in New Jersey in order to keep fit was not a waste,” Wiltshire said from her base in the Middle East.

Prior to her signing, Wiltshire, 22, was given a timely introduction to top level football during Jamaica's failed Olympic Qualifying bid earlier this year, and she believes the lessons and experience garnered from that outing will come in handy as she aims to quickly find her footing in the new environment.

Though fairly new to Israel's top-flight, Emek Hefer is rated as one of the league's top clubs given its strength and depth, more so now, with the addition of Wiltshire and a few other players.

“This being my first professional contract is simply just the start of an amazing journey I have ahead and it provides a great deal of confidence about the role I want to play on and off the field,” the defender, whose parents Brandi Wiltshire-Murray and Linval Lewis are both of Jamaican background, shared.

“So, I'm looking forward to playing with this new developed team and coaching staff and to gain as much as I can from the experience and the relationships, while honing my own skills and bringing a strong competitive attitude and will to win,” Wiltshire added.

The 5'4” Wiltshire is naturally an aggressive right full back, but the coaching staff at her new club seems intent on having her ply her trade as a utility player. This means she will be required to fill the gap in various positions, to include a striker and an outside-midfielder role at times.

It is a responsibility that she embraces, but she is also focused on her commitment to her body.

“I am anticipating learning their style of play and adjusting and adding to it as best as I can. I have been and will continue to train twice a day to better my technical and tactical abilities,” the bubbly personality declared.

“I have so much free time to dedicate to the game and that's what I intend on using it to become the best version of myself each and every day and to learn from every moment and experience that presents itself. I want to become a better person and player to do my part to help my team win,” Wiltshire added.


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