Name: Shaka Hislop.
Date of Birth: 22-Feb-1969.
Birthplace: Hackney, London, England.
Height: 6' 6".
International honours: England Under - 21 & Trinidad & Tobago.
Previous clubs: FC Dallas (USA, 05-Jul-2006 to 22-Aug-2007), West Ham United (England, 29-Jul-2005 to 04-Jul-2006), Portsmouth (England, 30-June-2002 to 06-May-2005), West Ham United (England, Jul-1998 to 25-May-2002), Newcastle United (England), Reading FC (England).
SW Online Interview: Shaka Hislop interview 1. / Shaka Hislop interview 2.
School: St Mary's College (Trinidad), Howard University (USA).
NOTE: Made his T&T debut on June 28th 1998 under former coach Bertille St Clair, a friendly show down with Caribbean rivals Jamaica, T&T won that game 2-0. He then made his World Cup Qualifying debut for T&T on the 15th of November 2000 against Panama under Scottish-Born coach Ian Porterfield, T&T also won that game this time it was a slim 1-0 victory. In 2006 Hislop made it to the FA-Cup finals with West Ham United only to be denied by Liverpool 3-1 on penalties after both teams finished 3-3, Hislop did his job well when stopped Sami Hyypia's effort but it wasn't enough to help his club as West Ham paid for their miss chances. Hislop signed with Newcastle United on 10th of August 1995 from Reading FC on a record transfer fee of £1.580,000.00 before moving to West Ham United in July of 1998. In August 2007 Shaka's MLS career was cut short because of a back injury and both parties decided it was best to part ways.
|30-Mar-2008||Sunday Chat - Scoring an interview with Shaka.|
|12-Feb-2008||FPATT president Hislop shocked by Warner comments.|
|09-Jan-2008||Shaka Hislop signs up with ESPN.|
|04-Jan-2008||Hislop, Phillips weigh in on new coach.|
|29-Dec-2007||Shaka thinks Corneal best for Soca Warriors.|
|04-Dec-2007||Shaka: 2010 draw a tough one for T&T.|
|04-Dec-2007||Shaka touched by tributes.|
|02-Oct-2007||Hislop excited over home tribute game.|
|21-Sept-2007||Shaka Hislop speaks out at Play the Game 2007.|
|22-Aug-2007||FC Dallas, Hislop reach agreement.|
|17-Jul-2007||Shaka the player/coach.|
|03-Apr-2007||Shaka relishes FPATT role.|
|03-Apr-2007||Hislop looking to prove himself.|
|14-Mar-2007||Hislop says quick resolution needed.|
|21-Dec-2006||Coach Shaka Hislop?|
|07-Dec-2006||Shaka Hislop for La Foucade camp.|
|19-Sept-2006||Life After Germany with Shaka Hislop.|
|09-Aug-2006||Hislop makes his entrance in Dallas.|
|24-Jul-2006||Form frustrates Shaka Hislop.|
|05-Jul-2006||FC Dallas signs World Cup goalkeeper Shaka Hislop.|
|16-May-2006||Shaka arrives keen to shake off FA loss.|
|13-May-2006||Shaka Hislop plots FA Cup upset.|
|23-Mar-2006||Shaka's unforgettable season.|
Hislop eyes T&T place.
By Lasana Liburd (Express).
20-Feb-2006 - Trinidad and Tobago goalkeeper Shaka Hislop is hoping to make an impact against Iceland on February 28 as the competition for World Cup places heats up.
Hislop, who is benefiting from a regular run out for England Premier League outfit West Ham, is anxious to showcase his ability to national coach Leo Beenhakker.
Beenhakker, a former Real Madrid and Ajax coach, has used Dundee custodian Kelvin Jack as his first choice between the uprights but opted to give his supporting cast a chance for their upcoming friendly in London. Hislop, Coventry's Clayton Ince and Fulham's Tony Warner are all in the frame.
Hislop told the Express that all three custodians plan to make the most of the opportunity.
"We all want to stake a claim for the number one shirt," said Hislop. "Kelvin has held it for the last ten months and done well so it will be hard to displace him. But this is a chance for us to stake our claim for a place in the World Cup squad and the number one shirt at the same time."
Hislop also looks forward to catching up with his national colleagues for the first time since their historic qualifier in Bahrain on November 16, 2005.
"It is very good for the players to get back together," he said, "and there would obviously be a lot less pressure on everyone than last November.
"There is certainly a buzz in London at the moment. I have been doing lots of interviews in the English press and there is a lot of interest from the Caribbean community as well."
The 36-year-old goalkeeper insisted that he is in his best form for some time after his third successive clean sheet for his English Premiership employers on Saturday.
The visiting West Ham team held Bolton 0-0 to ensure a FA Cup replay against their high-flying rivals.
"I am enjoying (my football) much more than last season," said Hislop. "I feel like I am better prepared physically and fitter than the last time (I was in the squad). We are certainly on a good run of form from my point of view because we have kept clean sheets in our last three games although I haven't had a lot to do."
There were some misdirected long kicks from Hislop against Bolton-for which he put part of the blame on the soft pitch at the Reebok Stadium-but there were little scares for the venerable goalkeeper.
Hislop sang the praises of 21-year-old central defender Anton Ferdinand, who has been a pillar of strength for West Ham since their return to the top flight last summer.
The goalkeeper once shared a dressing room with Anton's older brother, England and Manchester United star Rio Ferdinand, and he insisted that the younger Ferdinand is on the same path.
"Anton is Rio's brother in every sense," said Hislop. "He has exactly the same qualities. He is never flustered, has a good eye for the game, reads the game very well and is comfortable on the ball and strong in the air.
"I am sure he will be every bit as successful (as Rio)."
Beenhakker should hope that Hislop can reproduce his West Ham form if given the opportunity against Iceland.
Shaka Hislop gloves for Holder.
By: Shaun Fuentes.
19-Oct-2005 - English-based goalie Shaka Hislop turned over the gloves he used in the second half of this country’s 2-1 win over to Mexico to National Under 20 goalie Thorne Holder.
The ex- Queen’s Royal College custodian was outside the T&T dressing room after the win anxious to greet Hislop and was thrilled to have gotten the Selsport gloves from the former Portsmouth man.
“I knew he would give me something because this was such a big match that will go down in history for us. Shaka is a real role model and I know there a lot of things I can learn from him,” Holder said.
Hislop, who was also on the phone with Gillingham defender Brent Sancho around the same time, added “It’s good when we can do things like this and see the look on a youngsters face.”
Q&A with Shaka Hislop.
By: Shaun Fuentes.
17-Oct-2005 - 1. What’s your most memorable moment or match, whether for country or Club?
Making my professional debut Sept 8 1992 vs West Brom, we lost 3-0. Still I will never forget that proud day. Captaining the team against Mexico in Mexico, again we lost 3-0 but it was a memorable performance. Of course I will never forget the last three wins by the national team.
2. Name two persons, whether relative or not who have been an inspiration to you.
My father George and my eldest daughter Maalana.
3. Any favourite player or team?
My favourite player to watch is Zinedine Zidane.
4. What would be your preferred other profession?
I’d like to design cars.
5. What do you hope to accomplish either in next 5 years or end of playing career?
End of playing career, would like to represent T&T in World Cup. No immediate plans for after football.
6. Who’s been among your most admired coaches and why?
Mark McGhee because he gave me my first break. Hayden Martin - my coach at CIC. That period will always be the top of my list as it was just a very enjoyable time for me.
7. What do you think of T&T’s chances of making it to the 2006 World Cup?
Very good. The form now is definitely the kind of form that can take us there.
8. Any instances or plays that you always reflect on?
I tend to focus on my family life but when things aren’t going well professionally, my family take on a renewed significance.
9. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received?
Too much to say……
10.What do you do to relax away from the game?
Spend a lot of time with my family. I read…..
11.What’s your favorite dish?
12. Favourite drink?
13. Favorite time of year?
12. Most comfortable football boot?
Not particular with the boots. With the gloves though I like Uhlsport even though I’m wearing Selsport for the first time in my career now
13. What was the high point for you this season as well as the low point?
Last season there were not much high points. It wasdisappointing at Portsmouth. This season is simply about me enjoying my football again which I hadn’t done for this calendar year.
14. Advice for upcoming ones?
Listen to people who have been there and done that. Too many young players believe that they know what it takes.
15. Tell us about your decision to make your debut for T&T.
Dwight and Russell convincing me that it was the right time to come back and to put my differences with the TTFF behind me in an effort to see this team qualify for the World Cup. Those differences have been a down point in my career. It’s not a lot to say about it but without going into much detail, differences which have not really been addressed but maybe those differences will be better served with my representing T&T and my dealing with them at a higher level. I definitely see the potential for that to happen.
16. Any regrets about it?
No regrets, not at all…..
Shaka's West Ham homecoming.
By Anthony Clements.
02-Aug-2005 - There could scarcely have been a more popular signing among the Hammers faithful over the summer than goalkeeper Shaka Hislop.
A favourite of the Upton Park crowd during his four-year first spell at the Boleyn Ground between 1998 and 2002, the likeable Trinidad & Tobago international’s return is sure to go down well with the army of Hammers fans who made him their Hammer of the Year in 1999.
Shaka left the Club in the summer of 2002 to join Portsmouth, where he helped the Fratton Park club not only make an improbable return to the Premier League, but survive two seasons in the top-flight.
Having been released from Pompey over the summer, the 35-year-old was in search of a new club when he got the surprise call from Hammers boss Alan Pardew asking him to make an unlikely return to Upton Park.
And, as Shaka reveals, he did not hesitate in accepting the invitation to return to East London.
“When the opportunity came up there was no doubt in my mind that it was the right move for me,” he said while relaxing in the familiar surroundings of the Club’s Chadwell Heath Training Ground.
“West Ham United has always remained very special to me. I had some great times here during my first spell at the Club and I’m extremely excited about getting the chance to come back and play for them again.
“The interest did come as a bit of a surprise. I was training with Crystal Palace at the time with a view to moving there when I got a call from West Ham’s goalkeeping coach Ludo Miklosko saying that they wanted someone to push Roy Carroll for the number one shirt and would I be interested.
“Once I had spoken to Ludo I didn’t hesitate to commit myself to the Hammers again. This felt like the right club at the right time for me and everything was sorted out within the space of a week.
“Out of respect I spoke to Iain Dowie, discussed the situation, both theirs and mine, and told him that there was another offer. Palace weren’t in a position to make an offer and they understood my decision to want to move back to West Ham.”
Despite his four years living in Essex, Shaka must now reacquaint himself with London life after three years on the South Coast.
“Disappointingly I actually sold my house up here,” he smiles. “I moved my family down to Portsmouth when I joined them. I still have plenty of friends in this area and used to come back fairly regularly, but now it’ll be a few weeks of looking around for houses, schools and all that other fun stuff that footballers have to go through when they move clubs.”
Nevertheless, Shaka was greeted by one or two familiar faces when he reported for his first day back at Chadwell Heath.
“On the playing staff there is Stephen Bywater, Christian Dailly and Tomas Repka who were here from my first spell at the Club,” he explained. “Of course, I know Teddy Sheringham from our time together at Portsmouth, and Anton Ferdinand and Elliott Ward were young trainees when I was last here, and they have both done extremely well to come through into the first-team.
“I’ve kept in touch with Stephen Bywater since I left and he’s become a very close friend of mine, but coming back into the training ground you see plenty of familiar faces amongst the staff and in many ways it felt like coming home for me.”
Shaka has travelled with Alan Pardew’s squad to Holland for this evening’s game against FC Den Haag and could make his first start in a Hammers jersey for more than three years.
The 6ft 6ins goalkeeper last played in the Hammers first-team back in November 2001 in a 4-4 draw at Charlton, and having been brought to the Club to fight Roy Carroll for the goalkeeper’s jersey, Shaka is determined to get another chance between the sticks for West Ham United.
“It will be a tough task for me to get into the team,” admitted Shaka. “Roy is a very talented goalkeeper who has come from arguably the biggest club in the world. He’s got a wealth of experience playing on some of the biggest stages in football and that’s going to be invaluable to the Club throughout the season.
“But I’ve been brought here to push the other goalkeepers and if my presence can make sure that Roy is playing at the top of his form every week then my job will be done, even if I don’t play a game all season.
“Having said that, I would love to play at Upton Park again. The fans here were fantastic to me, the Boleyn Ground is one the greatest places to play football and obviously I’ll be doing all I can to get into the team and play for them again.
“My final 12 months at the Club were disappointing. I picked up a bad injury, and perhaps came back too quickly, which meant my form suffered and I couldn’t get up to the standard that I expected of myself.
“I’d like to put that right, but first I have to get down to some hard work in pre-season and make sure I’m ready to go come the start of the season.
“Settling in won’t be too much of a problem, because I’m used to the area and I know plenty of people around the Club anyway.
“There have been some changes, certainly the training ground and facilities have been redeveloped and looks great and the coaching set-up is different.
“But from the first moment I came to West Ham United the Club always had a very homely feel. It’s in essence a family orientated club and I like that.
“I already feel pretty settled to be honest and now I just can’t wait for the season to start.”
Shaka helped Portsmouth to promotion in 2003 and then Premier League survival in their first season back in the top-flight. Now he has a similar brief back at Upton Park and is confident Alan Pardew’s squad has what it takes to stave off a return to the Championship.
“West Ham United is a great club and it deserves Premiership football. Now that we are back in the top-flight the aim is to stay there, and from what I have seen already we have the squad to do it.
“I came up and survived with Portsmouth and I know it isn’t easy. There will be some tough times during the season and the fans will have to understand and help the team through that.
“But I’m sure they will and I’m confident West Ham United will survive in the Premiership this season.”
West Ham confirms Shaka's return.
By: Anthony Clements.
29-Jul-2005 - West Ham United are pleased to confirm the signing of goalkeeper Shaka Hislop on a free transfer. The 35-year-old returns for his second spell with the Hammers after becoming a firm favourite with the Upton Park fans during a four year stay between 1998 and July 2002.
Shaka began his career in England with Reading in 1992, where his impressive performances caught the eye of Kevin Keegan at Newcastle United. The Magpies paid £1,580,000 for his services in August 1995 and Shaka went on to make 53 League appearances at St James' Park.
But a lack of first-team opportunities alerted the Hammers, who snapped him up on a free transfer in 1998 to replace the departed Ludo Miklosko, who now teams up with Hislop as West Ham United's goalkeeping coach.
A popular figure in the dressing room, Shaka has made 132 appearances in the claret and blue so far and was such a hit with supporters that he won the Hammer of the Year award in his first season at the Club in 1998/99.
His spectacular shot-stopping helped the Club return to European football for the first time in 18 years in 1999. The 6ft 6ins stopper left the Club in 2002 after losing his first-team place to England international David James. He went on to make a return to the Premiership with Portsmouth and spent three years at Fratton Park before leaving on a free transfer at the end of last season.
Hammers boss Alan Pardew was delighted to have secured the services of the experienced goalkeeper. He said: "We're extremely pleased to have signed Shaka. He is an excellent goalkeeper with invaluable top-flight experience and he'll be a huge asset to the squad during the season.
"Of course, he knows West Ham United very well from his first spell here. He was a very popular figure during his four years with the Club and his character and personality will be a massive benefit in the dressing room.
"Shaka is not only a very good player, he is also an ambassador for football who is hugely respected within the game. It's great to have him back at the Club."
Shaka has been given squad number 34 for the coming season and now forms a trio of top-class Hammers goalkeepers, which also includes Roy Carroll and Stephen Bywater.
Hislop added: "I am just looking forward to getting the boots back on again and competing for a place in the side. "There are some good goalkeepers here and I will have to be on my toes.
"But I am confident in my ability and I know I am still good enough to be a very consistent goalkeeper in the Premiership."
Ipswich Town court Shaka Hislop.
By: Lasana Liburd (Express).
28-Jun-2005 - Shaka Hislop is considering a return to the England League Championship football division after confirming that Ipswich Town were interested in his services.
The 36-year-old Trinidad and Tobago goalkeeper left Premiership club, Portsmouth, in May after serving a three-year contract with the south coast team that saw them catapult from First Division stragglers to the English top flight.
Hislop's relationship with "Pompey" soured after the acrimonious departure of former manager Harry Redknapp to bitter rivals Southampton, last November, and the goalie was not offered a new deal by current boss, Alain Perrin.
Ipswich, who finished third in the League Championship last term before being edged by West Ham in the Play Offs, are offering Hislop a new challenge although there are several respectable suitors.
He suggested that the "Tractor Boys" form last season, as well as a glowing recommendation from his Portsmouth teammate David Unsworth, who spent six months on loan at Ipswich this year, piqued his curiosity.
"Ipswich have shown interest but they are not the only ones to do so," Hislop told the Trinidad Express. "They were highly recommended by my friend David Unsworth and they have made a very interesting offer. There are still other interested clubs so I will have to decide soon.
"I will probably have to do it over the phone because of my international commitments (at the 2005 CONCACAF Gold Cup tournament)."
One sticking point about Ipswich's approach is the issue of relocation.
Hislop lives on the south coast at present and would be unable to commute to Ipswich in East Anglia-a three and a half-hour drive barring traffic.
He is unlikely to unsettle his family, which comprises his wife, Desha, and four children, so soon after settling into life at Hampshire for a short-term deal. It is an occupational hazard as a professional athlete but still something he will consider with his family before any agreement is reached.
Ipswich last played in the Premiership in the 2001/02 season when they were relegated despite finishing fifth in the previous term when they qualified for the UEFA Cup. They maintained a presence in the top half of the League Championship standings ever since but have so far been unable to force their way back into the top flight.
Shaka excited about T&T return.
By: Lasana Liburd (Express).
28-Jun-2005 - Trinidad and Tobago goalkeeper Shaka Hislop is excited about returning to national duty and looks forward to making his mark in next month's CONCACAF Gold Cup tournament in the United States.
Hislop, 36, wore the captain's armband at T&T's last Gold Cup appearance in 2002 and was selected on the tournament All Star team although coach Rene Simoes' outfit did not qualify for the knockout stage.
He is anxious to impress again.
"I am hoping to give a strong personal showing," Hislop told the Trinidad Express. "The easy answer is for me to say that I am more interested in the team doing well. But I think that it is important for me to show to everyone that I am still a (top) goalkeeper in the Gold Cup.
"I have worked very hard in the off-season and I need to prove to myself that it was not in vain. I think the break has served me well and I am really eager to show what I can do."
Hislop, who leaves for Miami from England tomorrow, is also eager to meet new head coach Leo Beenhakker after declining a chance to join the national squad in May.
"I have heard really good things about Beenhakker from (Dwight) Yorke and so on," said Hislop, "so I jumped at the chance when he called me recently. It was an opportunity that I did not want to miss."
However, Hislop stressed that he is willing to accept a supporting role for younger goalkeepers like Kelvin Jack (Dundee) and Clayton Ince (Crewe Alexandra) if need be.
"I am realistic about my own situation," he said. "I am 36 and coming to the end of my club and international career. We have some fantastic goalkeepers coming through in Trinidad like Jack, Ince and Duarance Williams, who may not be quite ready yet but it won't be long before they are.
"So I am willing to play whatever role the coach sees fit and, if he wants to play a supporting role, then I am happy to do that."
Hislop lost his starting place to fellow England-based custodian, Ince, in his last return for T&T in a goalless draw at home to Costa Rica on March 30, which was then coach Bertille St Clair's final game at the helm.
Hislop conceded five goals, four days earlier, in a 5-1 loss away to Guatemala and admitted that his confidence and form was adversely affected by his fall from grace at Portsmouth.
The six-foot-two goalkeeper, who had prior stints with Newcastle United, West Ham and Reading, made a bright start to the 2004/05 season with Portsmouth and was twice named on the BBC Premiership "Team of the Week" for his impressive form, which included a clean sheet against Manchester United.
But Hislop struggled to hold on to the number one shirt after the departure of manager Harry Redknapp, who signed him at West Ham and Portsmouth but left for bitter rivals, Southampton in November.
Hislop cannot gauge his present form since he has not donned gloves for more than a month, but believes that he is mentally more positive. He pointed out there were similarities with his last Gold Cup tournament when he had just left West Ham after being kept out the first team by England goalkeeper David James. He signed for Portsmouth shortly after the 2002 Gold Cup.
"I am just happy to get back into the swing of things and put the last four months at Portsmouth behind me," said Hislop. "We did not deserve to be knocked out so early in the last Gold Cup but, from a personal standpoint, the tournament came at a really good time when I needed to fall in love with the game again.
"I think I have that renewed sense again when I am looking forward to playing."
Hislop's contract with Portsmouth expired last month but there have been respectable suitors, including League Championship club, Ipswich Town. He also revealed that he would consider a move to United States' Major League Soccer (MLS) in the future if the right deal came along.
"I would love to play in the MLS," said Hislop, who represented Howard University in the US National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) competition. "The United States is where I started my career or at least where I began playing serious football because I never played club football in Trinidad. So it is something I would love the opportunity to do."
His more immediate concern is Germany 2006 and he insisted that Trinidad and Tobago have a "fantastic" chance of qualifying for the FIFA senior competition for the first time. He suggested that the Gold Cup should be a stepping-stone for the five remaining World Cup qualifiers as it allows Beenhakker the chance to work with his team for a prolonged period.
Hislop is unsure of his role within the new administration but warned that his willingness to work in a lesser role did not mean he would roll over for his younger rivals.
"I am going to give my best and try to be number one," said Hislop. "If the coach sees otherwise, then I am happy to play a different role. But, rest assured, I will be doing my utmost to get the number one shirt."
Shaka Hislop to sit out back to back qualifiers.
By: Shaun Fuentes
11-May-2005 - Due to the uncertainty of his professional career status, English-based goalkeeper Shaka Hislop has asked to be excused from this country’s next two World Cup qualifying matches against Panama and Mexico on June 4 and 8.
Hislop, in speaking to Team Manager Bruce Aanensen, indicated that he was not in a proper mental frame of mind after learning on Friday that he would not be offered a new contract by Portsmouth FC. As a result, he has been left to try and secure a deal elsewhere and the next three weeks could decide whether he signs a new deal or retires from the game. His request for leave has been granted by head coach Leo Beenhakker.
“It’s disappointing for me at the moment,” Hislop told TTFF Media on Tuesday. “As it is, I was told on Friday that I would not be offered a new contract and it was a bit of a blow because I was still quietly hopeful that they would have offered me something especially as I was not looking at other options which now means that I have a short period to try and sort my professional career out.”
The former Newcastle and West Ham United standout said he felt it was best to avoid the risk of putting on the National strip when his mind may not be fully up to it.
“It’s a difficult time to commit to the country because mentally I am not in the right frame of mind and to be fair to myself and to everyone else, I thought it would be wise for me to take a back seat at this particular time.
“My future is uncertain. I have a family to look after as well and if I don’t find something soon then retirement could be a distinct possibility which would most likely mean having to put the gloves away totally.”
With the “Warriors” going all out in search of three points against Panama and then facing a tough away assignment to Mexico, Hislop said he would be an uneasy man in his England home on those matchdays.
“These games are extremely vital for us and I’m disappointed even further to not be involved in some capacity. It’s a crucial week to our expected progress and in fairness again to the guys and the fans, it would be better to have someone else in place of me,” Hislop added.
T&T’s other English-based goalie Clayton Ince was scheduled to arrive home on Tuesday with English-born recruit Chris Birchall while Scottish-based custodian Kelvin Jack is the other overseas-pro goalie coming to join the team. Jack played his first game on Tuesday since recovering from a thigh strain as Dundee Reserves lost 2-1 to Aberdeen. Currently Duarance Williams and Thorne Holder are the home-based ‘keepers.
Beenhakker will also have a chance to work with four of T&T’s United States-based pros as Real Salt Lake duo Leslie Fizpatrick and Marlon Rojas, New England Revolution’s Avery John and Columbus Crew’s Cornell Glen will arrive here on May 15 and will return to their clubs on May 19 as they all have League fixtures the weekend after.
Shaka Hislop delays national return.
By: Lasana Liburd.
10-May-2005 - Praises Maurice's work as goalkeeper coach.
Trinidad and Tobago's Shaka Hislop is likely to delay his return to the international fold until he takes care of his professional career in England.
The 36-year-old goalkeeper was released by English Premier League club Portsmouth on Friday and said he wants to sort out his career before he links up with new national coach Leo Beenhakker.
"I have a wife and four kids," said Hislop, "and it is difficult to leave here and leave my family at this point in time without knowing where my future lies. I have already told the manager my concerns and he said they would be relayed to the new coach and they would get back to me."
Hislop was optimistic about landing a role as a player/goalkeeping coach at Portsmouth after being tipped for the vacant post, but was disappointed to be released by the south coast club that he helped steer into the Premiership as a player.
"I am in a position of my own making really," he said, "because I felt I would be offered a contract by the club and now I am left with nothing lined up. So I would really like to sort something out first."
Hislop collected his European Goalkeeping "B" badge yesterday and revealed his ambition to work as a coach in his homeland.
"I think the one thing I lacked growing up in Trinidad was a proper goalkeeping coach," said the ex-Reading, Newcastle and West Ham custodian. "I only got proper coaching when I signed professional forms for Reading so it was a case of playing catch-up for me.
"I think we have produced a lot of good natural goalkeepers in Trinidad and Tobago and I feel that we can produce so much better ones with proper coaching. So it is something that I promised myself to help with in the future."
However, Hislop said the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation (T&TFF) already possess an excellent goalkeeping coach in former "Strike Squad" standout, Michael "Brow" Maurice, and he hopes the Federation appreciate the value of their employee.
"First and foremost, I think Maurice brings good experience to the table which is very important," Hislop said. "Despite the club exposure that myself and (Clayton) Ince might have, to have someone around like Maurice who has been there and done it in terms of international competition is great. I think he also has a wealth of experience in technical areas. "It is a fantastic asset to have and I know he has certainly helped me."
Ashdown eager to pay tribute to Hislop.
T&T Express Reports.
10-May-2005 - Portsmouth goalkeeper Jamie Ashdown has paid tribute to the part veteran Shaka Hislop has played in his success this season even though he has taken his place as first choice at Fratton Park.
Ashdown, who like Hislop has also played for Reading, aims to hang onto his place for next season.
But he was glowing in his praise of Hislop.
Ashdown admitted: "It's like he's been out there in goal with me at times during matches.''
Ashdown, 24, revealed Hislop had been hugely supportive of his progress, both on the training pitch and as a teammate.
His words came last week as Pompey were about to decide whether to give a new contract to Hislop, who was first choice for nearly three seasons before Ashdown was given his chance last November. Hislop was subsequently released by Portsmouth last Friday.
Hislop, 35, had not played for the first team since January, and three Coca-Cola Championship clubs are said to want him.
Ashdown added: "My own aim is to stay as first choice and then still be first choice when we come back for pre-season.
"It would be amazing when you think I came here only last summer. I didn't really expect to play any games and I really came in only because of an injury to Shaka in November.
"Shaka's been great. He's been so supportive, which not all goalkeepers in his position would have been. Some might sulk and not support the person who'd displaced them.
"He has given me advice but it's not just that. It is that he's been a normal person around me and has not been making it awkward.
"It's been difficult for him because he's only really lost his place once in his career before, when Shay Given came in at Newcastle.
"But with me coming in as an unproven goalkeeper, he's been great. I didn't expect to get my chance to establish myself as early as this but you have to take these opportunities when they arise.''
With the change of manager at Pompey, Ashdown has found himself first pick despite the signing of Greek custodian Kostas Chalkias.
Fans call for Shaka Hislop.
By: Shaun Fuentes.
22-Mar-2005 - Goalkeeper Shaka Hislop is currently the number one choice goalkeeper for T&T and maybe it’s about time that Portsmouth put him back in that position if they intend to stop their losing streak.
That’s what the Pompey fans have been calling for as Greek goalie Kostas Chalkias continues to concede goals. So far the former Panathinaikos keeper has let in 13 goals in six matches since taking Hislop’s place in January.
“I would be delighted to get back into the team. I’ve always kept myself prepared to play again. But I don’t make these decisions and am prepared for whatever happens. The manager hasn’t spoken to me,”said Hislop who is with the T&T side for the upcoming World Cup qualifier against Guatemala. “The situation at Portsmouth is a tight one at the moment but I’ll see how it goes over the rest of the season. I’m pretty confident that things will work its way out.
Last man standing...that’s Shaka Hislop.
By: Gregory Trujillo - T&T Guardian.
“...It is an opportunity of a lifetime we should’t let it slip away.”
09-Feb-2005 - When T&T engaged the United States in battle on November 19, 1989, to decide which of the two teams would make it to the World Cup in Italy, goalkeeper Shaka Hislop was at a friend’s home in Washington looking at the match on television.
Today, 15 years later, Hislop will be the last line of defence, standing between the uprights trying his best to contain the Americans.
“I was 20 years old and living in US and attending Howard University when the ‘Strike Squad’ lost the match 1-0 to the USA,” Hislop said yesterday.
“Although many people blamed goalkeeper Michael Maurice for conceding an easy goal, I am one who do not think it was his fault,” added the 35-year-old ‘keeper.
“Like every other Trinidadian it was a great opportunity for the nation and it just didn’t happen.”
Concerning today’s important encounter against the Americans, Hislop said: “It is a game we have to play. It’s no more than that. It’s the first in what I hope is our Road to Germany.”
Asked if he is ready for what the Americans have up their sleeves, Hislop replied, “I’m always prepared for every game I play. I take each game as it comes on its own merit. It is a World Cup qualifier therefore it will be a hard game.”
“We have a great team spirit,” he added. “And I think getting three points will be vital in the entire campaign.”
Like in 1989 when Maurice and Earl Carter battled for the goalkeeping position, Hislop will be sharing that spot with Crewe Alexander’s Clayton Ince.
“Clayton is a goalkeeper I admire highly,” stated Hislop. “Whoever coach St Clair plays, we will be well represented.”
About his defenders, Hislop remarked, “I think our defenders are capable and I am sure they will represent us very well.”
“It is an opportunity of a lifetime we should’t let slip away,” he insisted.
“As far as I am concerned, I will be around for the entire campaign.”
Hislop’s contract with Portsmouth is up at the end of the season. “I dont know what will happen from there. I have no idea where I would end up. It is something I haven’t given any thought to.
“If I had a choice, I will like to go to Chelsea, because they are the best club in England right now.
Hislop remains confident that that “this team is as prepared as it need to be and should be. Our preparaton has been perfect.”
The lanky goalie (six foot, four inches) is a former St Mary’s College player.
After leaving school he studied at and played for Howard University.
After university, Hislop played for Reading in the Enbglish Division Two and Division One before joining Newcastle United, then West Ham United and finally Portsmouth. He has been playing professionally since 1992.
Hislop, who broke his leg in 2000 while playing for Westham, said his most memorable moments are the births of his four kids — Maalana (8), Khazia (6), Talia (3) and Nia (17 months).
Shaka says Nakhid’s role will be critical.
Issued By: Shaun Fuentes.
24-Nov-2004 - English-based goalkeeper Shaka Hislop believes that the appointment of David Nakhid as senior team assistant coach has come at a most suitable time and he expects that his involvement will be a critical one in getting the “Soca Warriors” ready for the final round of the 2006 campaign.
Already one of the most experienced and respected players in the squad, Hislop said that having another experienced campaigner in the set up would undoubtedly be a plus to the team.
“David is a person who is well liked and well respected within the team by everyone, not just the players but management and staff members,” Hislop told TTFF Media on Wednesday.
“I think bringing him on as assistant coach is a positive step and one which will reap fine rewards.”
The Portsmouth goalkeeper has played alongside Nakhid, remembering his debut for T&T in a 2-0 win over Jamaica in 1999 when the former Greece-based professional was captain of the team. Almost five years later, Hislop sees Nakhid still being able to help in enhancing the team’s showing even though it will be from off the playing pitch this time around.
“His role is still very critical. He has played at the top level and has also picked up good coaching experience and of course is good leader. The players in the squad right now have played alongside him and think highly of him. This is why I believe he will fit in well within the current setup,” Hislop added.
With a spot in the final round booked, Hislop said while the last performance against St Vincent and the Grenadines was disappointing, it was not one he felt should be dwelled upon.
“It didn’t surprise me that we didn’t play well more so because of the fact that we were up against a team that came to meet us with nothing to really lose and as such were playing under no pressure. While we couldn’t have afforded to take any risks, they were able to explore us a bit more and open their game up. As a result they got on top of us. But we defended well, Clayton Ince had a great game and we came out on top. Getting into the final round was our aim and we did just that. I go back to the time when we went to Honduras in the final round of the 2002 campaign and a win would have pushed them through to the World Cup. We had nothing to gain from it but we instead got the win and threw them out. It could have been a similar turn for us this time but we pulled through.”
He also commented on the recent input of several top local coaches and officials in trying to get the remedy for the team’s success in the final round.
“I’ve always felt that for too long we had too many people pulling in different directions. There were those with their own agendas and ideas and the mood was mostly a negative one. But now we have a situation where everyone concerned seems to be pulling in the same direction and this is definitely a positive step which can only auger well for what’s to occur with this team and others in the future. We expected all along that the final six teams would make up a tough group but we will be positive and in good spirit because while we are aiming for at least a spot among the top four, we also feel at the same time that getting in the top three is not beyond us,” Hislop ended.
Shaka Hislop pledges full support for St Clair.
T&T Express Reports.
07-Mar-2004 - Trinidad and Tobago goalkeeper Shaka Hislop has pledged his full support for this country's Germany 2006 World Cup qualifying efforts.
The Portsmouth keeper, who has been in top form during the current English Premiership season, said on Friday he firmly believes the decision to re-appoint Bertille St Clair as head coach was the right choice, which is one of the reasons he has decided to delay his international retirement plans and wear the national shirt once again.
"It is my intention to be part of the upcoming World Cup campaign," Hislop told Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation (T&TFF) media officer Shaun Fuentes. "But I also have to keep my club commitments in mind and also how much I am doing at the moment. I'm not getting any younger and injuries seem to be popping up easier than before, which is something I have to bear in mind at all times."
Hislop stressed he strongly believes the right measures are being put in place to ensure that T&T have the best shot at qualifying for the Germany finals.
"I know for sure that if I am not able to fully give myself between the sticks then I will play some role or the other, whether it may be as an adviser or an assistant, because I am willing to do it for Bertille and the team," Hislop said.
Commenting on the string of upcoming international friendlies lined up for the national team, Hislop added: "All those games will be good for the team because it is important that we test ourselves against quality opposition to be able to prove that we are just as good or even better.
"With regards to Bertille's re-appointment, I am delighted that he is back on board. I felt certain that we could have qualified last time but that wasn't to be. Now he is back with us and he has to steady the ship and hopefully take us to Germany. It's going to be a tall order but he is the right man back in the job at the right time to get us all back to the football that Trinidad and Tobago is associated with," said Hislop.
He is recovering from a broken finger but is well enough to continue playing for Portsmouth. He indicated his availability for T&T's match against Egypt on March 30 depends on his physical fitness and position with the club at that time.
And coach St Clair continues to hold sessions with T&T's local-based footballers and will select a squad shortly, including players based overseas, for the Egypt game.
T&T have, among other matches, an international friendly with Iraq on May 23 in London. Iraq are currently ranked 44th on the FIFA world chart, while of T&T's other upcoming opponents, Qatar are in 58th spot, Iceland (59th), Egypt (34th) and Tunisia (31st).
Shaka Hislop talks on retirement, protests, his controversial career.
Written By Lasana Liburd.
20-Feb-2003 - Shaka Hislop may have already blocked his last shot in Trinidad and Tobago international colours. The Portsmouth custodian told Express Sports at the weekend that he is almost certain to retire from the “Soca Warriors” after an international career which delivered as much controversy as it did caps.
Hislop, who last represented T&T at the 2002 CONCACAF Gold Cup, was not contacted by national technical director Hannibal Najjar for next month’s Gold Cup qualifying tournament.
And, although Najjar could not be reached to fully explain his decision, the former team captain believes he is closing in on his “sell by date”.
“I spoke with Najjar late last year when he asked about my availability,” said the 34-year-old Hislop, “and I told him I felt I was drawing closer to my sell by date. I think we have talented younger goalkeepers like Kelvin Jack and Clayton Ince and maybe it was a case of allowing them to step up and stake their claim.
“My main focus would have been the next World Cup qualifiers and, by that time, I would be 37 and probably retired.”
He did not close the door entirely on Najjar and the chance of them working together at international level.
“The only decision we made,” said Hislop, “was that we would sit down in the near future and get certain things off our chests and see what we come up with.
“Until that happens, I will rule myself out of the national set up.”
Undoubtedly, one topic which will be discussed—if and when the meeting between Najjar and Hislop takes place--is the growing disenchantment over the preparation of the national teams.
Almost one month ago, 19 Trinidad and Tobago players walked out on a training session in protest at their set up in which even ice bags and bandages—let alone energy drinks and meals—were often absent.
It is a claim that Najjar is still to either deny or confirm.
The players, who were immediately suspended from all football by the T&TFF pending an investigation, also demanded the formation of a players’ association recognised by the local governing body.
Hislop declared his support for the blacklisted players although he did sympathise with the 11 foreign based professionals who should soon join Najjar for Gold Cup battle—whether or not the situation was resolved.
He explained that the likes of Birmingham City striker Stern John and Livingston defender Marvin Andrews may have little choice but to accept the T&TFF’s invitation in an effort to have their work permits renewed.
As an English citizen by birth, Hislop has no such problems.
“I understand that some of the foreign based players will have to go back,” said the ex-Newcastle and West Ham custodian. “They need their (international) caps to renew their work permits in the UK. This is a consideration I never had to bother with.
“For them, it would be absolutely ridiculous not to accept. It will be cutting off their noses to spite their faces.
“I never had to worry about that so I would have resisted in an effort to add some support to the local based players.”
Trinidad and Tobago national teams, by Hislop’s estimation, have been plagued by inadequate training conditions and support from their ruling body for a long time.
The former St Mary’s College and Howard University goalie recalled the first time he was called for senior duty at the 1990 Caribbean Cup staged in Trinidad and Tobago.
At the time, Hislop was rated higher than United States custodians Tony Meola and Kasey Keller in North America and was considered to be the natural successor to Strike Squad goalie Michael Brown Maurice.
The players then were expressing the exact concerns (as these now), said Hislop. They were preparing for games at poor training facilities and there was no water far less for food at sessions. I mean we all know how hot it can be in Trinidad so imagine training without even water.
It has taken 13 years for a group of players to be strong enough to make a stand (...) which will benefit all players in the long run. I think it is a courageous and noble stance in many respects.
Hislop’s own problems with the T&TFF began some years later.
After a successful collegiate career which included NCAA Division One All American accolades, Hislop used his British passport to good advantage and turned pro at English Second Division team, Reading.
They were knocking on the door of the English Premiership in the 1994/95 season and Hislop was making waves when T&TFF president Oliver Camps paid him a visit.
At the time, Reading had only one goalkeeper on their books and Hislop explained that, although he was willing to represent his country, he wanted to be excused until the end of the season.
Camps, Hislop alleged, agreed and the two shook hands on it.
A month later, though, T&TFF special advisor and Fifa vice-president Jack Warner lost a public battle with Hislop’s father, George Hislop, in his attempt to be granted a President’s License for the newly created Football Company of Trinidad and Tobago (FCoTT).
The President’s License should have allowed money donated by businesses to the T&TFF to be written off as a special charity.
The elder Hislop, a magistrate at the time, argued that the scandalous financial state of affairs within the T&TFF did not merit such a privilege.
The government eventually agreed and suddenly Warner insisted that Hislop attend a friendly match against the United States on November 19, 1994 to commemorate their famous defeat.
In the ensuing battle between club and country, Warner wrote to Fifa to have Hislop banned from the game and his father was forced to take immediate leave from his duties and travel to Europe to fight for his son’s career.
Warner claimed that Hislop had already represented Trinidad and Tobago since he was on their teamlist during the 1986 CONCACAF Under-19 qualifying series.
Hislop (G) countered that his son never made it off the bench and had therefore never been capped as a T&T player—as was the case with Frenchman David Trezeguet who was an unused substitute for Argentina in a Fifa Youth tournament.
The Hislops won and the goalkeeper soon had much more to celebrate as he was signed by the enigmatic former European Player of the Year, Kevin Keegan, at Newcastle United.
By then, though, he had agreed to be registered with the English FA to avoid Warner’s reach while also allowing himself more opportunities in the pre-Bosman era when clubs were restricted to three non-English players.
It was instrumental in Keegan taking him on board at a time when even players like Denis Irwin and Ryan Giggs were branded as foreigners by Premiership rules.
Neither Warner, who was out of the country and unavailable, nor Camps could be reached for comment on the matter.
Camps did not return phone calls from the Express.
But the rift between the parties was never healed.
Subsequently, Hislop was invited to wear English colours by Glenn Hoddle and was number two to David Seaman at Wembley when Chile downed the Brits 2-0 in a friendly with a sensational Marcelo Salas double.
There was an appearance as an over-aged player with the English under-23 team against Switzerland as well before Hislop decided to put his differences behind him and represent the country he always considered to be home.
Despite the pleadings of the West Ham board and manager Harry Redknapp, he declined his next invitation to join the English set up in anticipation of a T&T summons.
His first international cap came under coach Bertille St Clair at a 2-0 win over Jamaica in 1999 while his competitive debut was a year later in a 1-0 World Cup qualifying win against Panama for Scotsman Ian Porterfield.
Hislop remained first choice up until the 2002 Gold Cup when—as team captain under Brazilian Rene Simoes—he was named on a tournament All Star team although the Warriors crashed out in the first round following an embarrassing defeat 1-0 to Martinique.
In his three year international career, Hislop played 18 times for three coaches and was often at odds with the T&TFF although he never chose to strike himself.
He was aggrieved at the controversial sacking of St Clair after leading T&T to the Gold Cup semi-finals—their best ever finish.
Hislop was also on board when English-born Burnley defender Ian Cox quit in disgust at the state of the national team and key players Dwight Yorke and Anthony Rougier were publicly axed then re-instated on the eve of a crucial World Cup qualifier against Honduras.
Porterfield himself was sacked by telephone while on duty with the national team after another qualifying defeat to the United States.
His third boss, Simoes, quit after he failed to get the financial support of the private sector.
Not surprisingly, Hislop sees his future with ambitious Portsmouth whom he joined in the pre-season as a free agent.
He pointed to the irony of his move as former Premiership club, West Ham, seem set for relegation while Pompey look likely to be competing in the top flight next season.
I am very happy to be there, he said. It doesn’t matter where you are. When you are winning games, you are always comfortable...
It would be nice to see Portsmouth in the Premier League which would cement the merit of my decision.
Without a doubt, I think Portsmouth will be my last club.
His commitment to country had been questioned in the past with Warner leading the charge. But Hislop remains ready to serve his country and committed to the cause of bettering the lot of local players.
This no longer necessarily means his involvement on the field, though.
He bears no animosity towards the federation but urged them to finally listen to their players.
Over the years, the foreign based players have tried to have a say about these same circumstances, said Hislop. But the administrators have been very crafty by separating us as foreign and local players. We have never been able to create anything because they put a wedge between the two (groups).
So now the administrators are stumped because it is the local players who are acting.
Hislop is in their corner, if not between the uprights.
Shaka Hislop wants impasse to have neutral selection.
By: Shaun Fuentes.
3-Feb-2003 - Trinidad and Tobago's English-based goalkeeper Shaka Hislop wants the current impasse between the Football Federation and the national players to be resolved quickly in the best interest of local football.
Hislop, who unreservedly supports the stance taken by his fellow players who last week demanded better training conditions and boycotted the friendly international against Finland, also sees the need for input from a neutral party.
"In England we have a professional players association that acts on behalf of the players and the need for that in Trinidad and Tobago is highlighted even more because someone needs to come in and take almost a neutral point of view so that we can find some common ground. All over it's no secret that players and administrators almost never see eye to eye because that's the nature of the game. In our regards, compromise is the key to any negotiation. No one can afford to be bull-headed about the situation because we need to find some type of solution and the sooner we do, the better, but we need to do what is best for both parties," Hislop told TTFF Media from his Southampton home on Monday.
"The players have taken a brave decision because they have put their careers on the line for what will benefit other players in the long run.
"It's difficult to hit out at either party at this point because I've only heard the player's point of view and I can understand this because I've been a player. Administratively I'm fully aware of what was brought upon the TTFF with Jack Warner pulling out of financial matters and the urgent need that arrived for financial restructuring. I understood that everyone would feel the pinch in some way. Right now there is a need to find common ground," added the former West Ham United 'keeper.
"I've been a player since 1990 and I remember these concerns being voiced even since then and right now I don't think the players are reacting solely for the sake of wanting more money, but more so for wanting to feel a bit more appreciated for their efforts. I can understand fully that things have not been going as smooth as we would like over the past months for the federation and as a result the team has not been enjoying the best of conditions. At the same time, there is need for a neutral understanding and solutions," ended Hislop.
The recent T&T captain has been enjoying a rock solid season for Portsmouth, guiding them to the top of the English First Division with 63 points, two more than second placed Leicester City. Hislop kept a clean sheet in Saturday's 3-0 shut out of Grimsby Town.
Shaka Hislop completes Pompey switch.
By: Lasana Liburd.
30-June-2002 - Portsmouth have confirmed that they have completed the signing of Shaka Hislop from West Ham, with the goalkeeper joining on a three-year deal.
The Trinidad and Tobago shot-stopper passed a medical in Wimbledon yesterday and will meet up with his new Pompey team-mates for the start of pre-season training tomorrow.
Hislop fell out of favour at Upton Park when David James came in at the beginning of last season and was released at the end of the campaign at the age of 33 leaving him eligible to move on under the Bosman ruling.
Portsmouth boss Harry Redknapp, who previously took Hislop from Newcastle to West Ham in July 1998, is convinced that the 6ft 6ins keeper still has plenty to offer at the top level and can offer Pompey top-class service.
He leaves East London having made 132 senior appearances for The Hammers.
Only four clubs conceded more goals than Portsmouth last year and Hislop would be asked to play a huge role in their promotion dreams.
The former St Mary’s College custodian spent most of last season as back-up for English international reserve, David James, and his last competitive match came in Trinidad and Tobago colours during the January 2002 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
Despite a disappointing first round exit for the Warriors, Hislop was named on the Gold Cup All-Star team while he was adjudged the best goalkeeper in his last Division One season with Reading in 1995.
Reading are among the 24 Division One teams hoping to earn promotion to the Premiership this season and they again have a Trinidad and Tobago player on their books in the form of versatile ex-Warriors captain Anthony Rougier.
Rougier and Hislop will both hope to follow compatriot, Stern John, who helped steer Birmingham City through the Division One Playoffs last season to a 2002/2003 Premiership place.
Shaka Hislop ponders his swansong.
By: Lasana Liburd.
28-June-2002 - It is like waiting all day to get on that exciting new ride at the circus only to realise you are being beckoned off it in a matter of minutes. Do you stubbornly refuse to bow to the inevitable or do you nobly allow another bright eyed patron a turn? After a testing past year with country and club, Shaka Hislop is adamant that the change of baton will be graceful and quick.
“The more I think about it,” said Hislop, “the more I think the curtain is coming down on my career…I think my time with the national team is coming to an end.
“I am always saying that my one regret is not playing in a World Cup. I am desperately disappointed about that.
“But, by the next World Cup, I will be 37...I think I will be past my best by then.”
Timing, as the 33-year-old Hislop knows fully well, is everything for a goalkeeper.
Uncertainty–including the distrust of an aging body–is his deadliest foe.
The lanky custodian has roughly 12 months to decide which of the two played the leading role in his decision to return the Trinidad and Tobago international number one jersey to federation president, Oliver Camps.
There is a thin line between saint and sinner and the highs and lows in the career of the London-born “Soca Warrior” fluctuate almost as wildly.
Undoubtedly, Trinidad and Tobago has never had the services of such an internationally recognised goalkeeper.
Former Queen’s Royal College and Maple legend, Lincoln “Tiger” Phillips, is generally regarded as the best to stand between the national uprights.
But Hislop remains the sole shotblocker to gain employment and fame in one of the world’s top three domestic leagues–the English Premiership.
Strange then that, at youth level, the national bosses–not goalkeeping coaches, mind you–reckoned he was too unathletic to become first class.
It was a decision that local football fans almost regretted as Hislop, who was also eligible to represent England and North Ireland, chose to remain in international exile for nearly seven years before accepting the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation’s call for duty in 1999.
He insisted that the reason for his unusually long courtship with the T&TFF was his own business and, for the most part, so was his journey to become a top class goalkeeper.
A standout at St Mary’s College, Hislop went on to earn NCAA All-American honours at Howard University while majoring in mechanical engineering.
His degree offered hope of a more lucrative career than he could have enjoyed from football at the time in North America or the Caribbean.
But Hislop had other plans which involved a trip across the Atlantic Ocean to England–the homeland of his father and local magistrate, George Hislop.
In the bowels of the British football, Hislop made a name for himself progressing quickly from “the kid from America” to the best goalkeeper of Division One while at Reading FC.
A phone call from English legend and two-time European Player of the Year, Kevin Keegan, confirmed his rise in popularity and three seasons at the exciting Newcastle United were followed by four years with fashionable London club, West Ham.
Hislop gushed as he recalled those unforgettable, light-headed days.
“I remember I got the call at home and he (Keegan) said he was about to sign me,” he said. “My wife Desha (his girlfriend then) was sitting next to me and could see me break into a cold sweat. It is almost surreal to have Kevin Keegan on the phone with you.
“I saw it happen to Dwight (Yorke) and Russell (Latapy) but you never think that sort of thing could happen to you. It was so like a fairy tale, I didn’t get much sleep that night.”
Hislop went on to win two Premiership silver medals with the “Magpies” who were also beaten FA Cup finalists while he was also a key component in the Hammers’ success stories.
The 1999/2000 season was his finest when he steered West Ham to their best ever Premiership finish of fifth while being adjudged the club’s Most Valuable Player in the process–beating out some illustrious teammates such as Rio Ferdinand, Ian Wright, Trevor Sinclair and Paolo Di Canio.
There is never enough time to savour one’s triumphs in life, though.
And, two years after being the Lord of London, Hislop was shown the exit door on the first day of pre-season training by a new manager, Glenn Roeder, anxious to leave his own mark on the club.
“I was told (David) James would be signed and I had no future at West Ham,” he recalled. “It was a diasappointing and discouraging time for me. I thought I would have been given time to stake my place.”
As much as weekend matches and post-game press conferences, changing clubs is an unavoidable part of life for a professional footballer. It is only human, though, to reflect.
Hislop believes that a broken leg suffered while on the job in a January 2000 Premiership fixture for the Hammers was the start of the end for him at the club.
“I tried to come back earlier than I should have and was advised to,” he said. “The World Cup campaign was already on the way and, for professional and personal reasons, I tried to get myself fit too early. Maybe it wasn’t the best thing in hindsight.
“It affected my training and hence my form. For long periods, I couldn’t kick the ball and my movement was also greatly restricted.
“I also kept picking up niggling injuries since I was still carrying a major one. But you live and you learn.”
Perhaps time will also translate to wisdom for Hislop as he contemplates his international career over the next year before the CONCACAF Gold Cup qualifying series–or Caribbean Cup–which promises to be more competitive than ever.
Before then, it is likely that he will return to Division One to recapture his love for the sport and confidence with Portsmouth and former Hammers boss, Harry Redknapp.
Portsmouth was one of the division’s more enterprising teams last season with veteran Croatian playmaker Robert Prosinecki on their books as they scored goals at an impressive rate but conceded them almost as quickly.
Hislop, should he sign, will have his work cut out for him.
A new lease on life should suit the T&TFF and their aspirations for a place in the 2006 Germany World Cup just fine.
Still, Hislop insisted that there was much for them to do in order to accomplish their lofty goals.
He hopes that the recently set up technical committee–chaired by Alvin Corneal and also featuring Richard Braithwaite and Keith LookLoy–takes a close look at the programmes which have worked in other countries such as the United States, Senegal and Australia.
“Local football is too isolated,” said Hislop. “A lot of what we do is archaic in nature...We have been comfortable and complacent with what we achieved in the past and hope to perform the same heroics as in 1989. But we know now that is impossible.
“Success in football is not hit and miss. It is about planning from top go down...We should be honest and big enough to see what’s going wrong and fix it.”
He also had much sympathy for the unsettled pair of Manchester United striker Dwight Yorke and Glasgow Rangers playmaker Russell Latapy who suffered undignified endings to their international careers.
“I thought they were treated harshly and made scapegoats when the problem remained elsewhere,” said Hislop. “As players who committed the better portions of their lives to national football, as fellow players and good friends it was so heart wrenching to see what they went through.
“I did consider retiring as well during the World Cup campaign...I think it crossed a few of our minds and the senior players discussed it...
“As you get older, it gets more difficult to make the eight hour flights...
But I don’t regret not doing it. I’m delighted I stayed on to contribute.”
Hislop believes that he can still be of benefit to the national cause by dropping in as often as possible to share his wisdom with the talented younger goalkeepers such as Kelvin Jack and Clayton Ince.
At present, he is studying to become a goalkeeper coach in England and hopes to turn a specialist when he ends his playing days.
But will that time come quickly?
The list of goalkeepers who maintained good form well into their 30s is long and includes 39-year-old England number one David Seaman who–a speculative Ronaldinho item apart–was among the best in his position at the 2002 World Cup.
Only three Trinidad and Tobago players of this era have gathered extensive experience at the highest level of the game and the exits of Latapy and Yorke has left just Hislop to nurture the young Warriors.
There is arguably none better than he to tutor a defence that is sure to soon feature several fresh faces while Jack and company can still learn much from him.
Hislop feels that he is being beckoned to the sidelines to allow someone else a chance.
He would be wise, though, to keep his own watch on the clock.
He has roughly a year in which to make up his mind.
Shaka Hislop says new move must have no U turn.
By: Shaun Fuentes.
6-June-2002 - Trinidad and Tobago goalkeeper Shaka Hislop, now in the midst of new contract negotiations in England, has made a call for all concerned to make the best use of the ongoing opportunity to get a new beginning for the game here, by utilizing all resources at stake and joining heads for the benefits of local football.
Not withholding his disappointment on the departure of Rene Simoes as Technical Director, Hislop said it is now time that we again learn from the experiences and make the necessary right moves for the continuation of the journey towards Germany 2006.
"It is disappointing the way things have turned out and now we have to learn and take up the mantle from Simoes' reign here, his long term visions and what he was trying to achieve here with the linking of all national teams through the age groups under one philosophy," Hislop said from England today.
"We need to ensure that the transformation of the players through the different teams will not be a difficult step and this is what he (Simoes) was trying to improve."
"We have always had the talent so now we need to search deeper as to how we can harness at the senior level because we tend to do good at the lower levels and so we need to take a long hard look at this. There is no doubt in my mind that we have the coaches locally who can assist in this area but we need to have a structure and a belief in whatever we set out to do. We have to put aside the looks at short term results and look more to what we can achieve on a long term scale," said Hislop.
The T&T captain did not state his choice of a foreign or local individual to take the new charge but reflected on Simoes being able to set a good direction but was unable to bear much fruit because of his short stay here.
"Certainly whoever is put in charge now has to have people around him with the same beliefs and philosophy. There needs to be that same outlook to long term benefits rather than just judging things on what happen only in the short term. Change is inevitable but we need to have someone who can step into the person's shoes and carry on with the work. Probably where we may have gone wrong with Simoes is that we did not have that local person who was very close with him. His reign was short and shorter that we expected and maybe this would have happened."
Hislop hopes that now the next approach will include that closer knit between the administrators, the Technical Director and an individual or individuals who will be able to share their knowledge and experiences of the game.
"I will recommend that we have someone involved, especially a young individual, who can assist from a point of view of having been heavily involved and knows what it is to have passed through the game from our point of view. I have seen that Clayton Morris has been put in charge of the Under 23 teams in the short term and this is good. He is a fine person to have rubbing shoulders with whoever is put in charge. He commands respects at both the national and club levels because of his achievements and is well respected by the players and the fans because of the fact that he has represented us in fine form before. Someone of his caliber and age will be good for us," said Hislop.
Hislop also hopes that the players can fully cooperate with the administration and each other in light of the current matter.
"Certainly we have to maintain a sense of continuity. Personally speaking and as for the rest of players as well, we have to ensure a balancing act because of our club careers which puts butter on our bread. Through the players recently we did have a unit and could have gone places given the right management and time. Now the coach is gone and the onus falls heavily on the shoulders on the senior players and I hope we can continue to lead and represent," Hislop added to TTFF Media.
Shaka Hislop released by West Ham United.
News of West Ham website.
25-May-2002 - Glenn Roeder announces that he is releasing several players who are out of contract this summer. Shaka Hislop, Craig Forrest, Paul Kitson, Steve Potts, Omer Riza, and Michael Ferrante will not be receiving renewed contracts this close season.
Of Shaka's departure, he says: "It is always difficult when you have been a number one goalkeeper, and he has been one for a number of years, wherever he has been.
"It was obviously hard for him being a number two, and he said so - which was no problem to me - but he never complained, never came in and caused me any problems, and I am very grateful for that." Shaka played the first 13 games of the season, and Glenn says:
"I always knew that if I had to call on him he would come in and do a good job; he has been a terrific servant for the club and I am sure he will have no problem finding a new one."
It was a surprise to some that no one looked to buy him last season when David James returned to fitness, but Glenn says: "There weren't too many clubs last year that were one, in a position to buy, and two, needed a goalkeeper last season.
"But with everyone moving their squads around things will change, and I am confident Shaka will get fixed up at a decent club and will carry on being a number one again."
The third keeper to depart this summer is Craig Forrest, well on the road to recovery following an operation for testicular cancer earlier in the season, and Glenn says:
"Craig has got to decide what his future has got to be, and the only thing that concerns us now is that he has got over his illness and has a full and healthy life - which I am sure he will continue to do. "We are waiting to hear from the specialists, but Craig has got to make the decision whether to carry on or not to - and only he can make that decision."
Shaka Hislop in new role.
By: Shaun Fuentes.
22-May-2002 - Shaka Hislop took on a new role in last Monday's testimonial match for Phil Parkinson when he spent the last 20 minutes as a striker for a Reading FC line up.
As a former player for Reading, Hislop was invited for the encounter alongside Anthony Rougier, Hislop played briefly in goal before showing off his skills outside against an England select team which included the likes of Paul Gascoigne.
"I suppose it was a little bit of showing off! It's not often I get the chance to go out on the pitch, and it was nice to have a go and show a little bit of my stuff," said Hislop. "It was good of the England players to come down and put on a show, and it was a fantastic day for everyone," said Hislop who is reportedly eyeing a move out of West Ham United in time for next season.
Millwall and Reading have been two of the mentioned clubs interested in him.
Shaka Hislop happy with achievements.
23-Apr-2002 - According to the TEAMtalk website, Shaka Hislop says he will draw the curtain on his West Ham career at the season's end knowing he has always given his best.
The Trinidad and Tobago international, who is set to leave Upton Park in the summer after losing his first-team place to David James, said: "I have no regrets about anything in my career - I mean I am very proud of my accomplishments so far."
Hislop - who has been linked with a move to join former manager Mark McGhee at Millwall, or a return to his first club Reading - has revealed he takes a keen interest in the workings of football off the pitch.
He said: "I try to keep up to date with football and its workings, especially at boardroom level, and of course administratively in the world game.
"Football is going through a very interesting transition and the amount of money involved in the game is huge.
"I am almost a student of that, you could say. I try to focus on that, it helps to keep my mind active and alive."
Shaka Hislop's home but out of West Ham by next season.
By: Shaun Fuentes.
09-Feb-2002 - Trinidad and Tobago captain Shaka Hislop will be out of West Ham United next season. This was the word coming from the goalkeeper on Saturday as he spoke while spending a few days with his family in Trinidad.
Hislop arrived in the country last week to receive an award for his contribution to football and community work from the Trinidad and Tobago Nationals Association.
On the topic of his future in England, the former Newcastle custodian told TTFF Media "My contract ends at the end of the season and I have made it clear to the club that I want first team football and that I am still very much capable of doing this. I have said that there is no chance of me getting this at West Ham with David James there, so I have made up my mind that this is my last season there."
Hislop, who earlier rejected a new deal, will be allowed to leave on a Bosman free transfer when his four-year contract ends at the close of the season.
There has been reports in the English Press that Kevin Keegan, once manager of Newcastle, and now in charge of Manchester City, has expressed interest in Hislop. But the former St Mary's College 'keeper added that it was all just speculation.
"There has been nothing confirmed as yet. There are a few options but so far most has just been press speculation."
Hislop also shared his thoughts on the decision of Technical Director Rene Simoes to stay on with hope that conditions can be sorted out for the duration of his contract.
"This is a very positive move. I'm a big fan of coach Simoes and we do like him a lot. I will like to see him stay on and continue the stability that there has been since his arrival and hopefully see continued development. I am also a big fan of his coaching methods and I hope this move can turn into the right outcome which is to have him remain with us," said Hislop.
Hislop has not experienced Trinidad Carnival for the past ten years and here with his wife Desha and three daughters Mallana, Khazia and Talia, he returns to London on Ash Wednesday to rejoin his club as the Premiership season continues.
Shaka Hislop to play aganist an England X1.
01-Feb-2002 - T&T International keeper, Shaka Hislop is set to lead a star-studded Reading XI out against an England X1 side for captain Phil Parkinson's testimonial match in May.
The West Ham star will be backed by the likes of Michael Gilkes, Stuart Lovell, Simon Osborn and Dylan Kerr, in what looks set to be a money-spinning clash at the Madejski Stadium on May 13.
Reading originally refused to give Parkinson a testimonial game because it was not club policy to recognise players in that way.
But after coming under increasing pressure from a variety of sources, the club made an exception and granted Parkinson a testimonial year which was officially launched last night.
The England team will consist of favourites from Paul Gascoigne, Glenn Hoddle, Stuart Pearce, Chris Waddle, Dennis Wise and Luther Blissett, all being lined up to take part."
Shaka Hislop & Stern John: Don’t break us up!
By LASANA LIBURD.
29-Jan-2002 - “I THINK the media largely looks for the negative things in Trinidad and Tobago football,” said national football team captain Shaka Hislop, “when there is so much positive. I think that this has been a crippling factor in local football...
“We are a small country with such a wealth of talent but the expectations on us are greatly exaggerated. If you fall short of the exceedingly high standards, they cut you down far too harshly.”
It was barely 12 hours since their shocking 2002 Gold Cup exit at the hands of Caribbean neighbours, Martinique, and Hislop pounced on the opening question about the relationship between the media, general public and national football teams.
He suggested that there have been persons within and outside the media who attacked the “Soca Warriors” and their staff out of maliciousness or for their own personal gain. In a brief tirade, Hislop struck back.
“Ever since I arrived in Trinidad,” he continued, “all the talk has been about (technical director) Rene Simoes’ earnings. Not only the media, everyone had something very adverse to say in such a critical time for our football.
“Jack Warner has just severed ties with the game and we have come through such a difficult World Cup campaign and things were just starting to look up. And everyone took an opportunity to drag football back down.”
Just as quickly, the lanky custodian—who campaigns with English Premier League team West Ham—regained his composure and leaned back in his lounge chair poolside of the team’s hotel in downtown Miami. He even offered some conciliatory words to the press who, he acknowledged, were often simply doing their jobs when publishing critical comments on the national outfit.
Nottingham Forest striker Stern John, who plays in the English First Division, had less to say but shared the sentiments of his skipper.
“Nobody likes losers,” said John. “But I think we need support from the public and the media. I am not saying to protect the players all the time but, you know...”
Some of the main criticisms about the Warriors and their star overseas-based players have been about their aloofness and lack of spirit and pride in their performances. But, on Wednesday morning, Hislop and John showed no sign of either shortcoming. The day after such a damning result is a difficult time to face public scrutiny but both players cleared their schedules to do just that. Such selflessness was too regularly absent from T&T’s play on Tuesday night when they succumbed to a spirited but limited Martiniquan team.
On a morning of frank discussion, neither Hislop nor John shied away from that fact. Hislop pointed out that the team had been engulfed in negativity from the start with the constant criticisms of the Brazilian coach. But he admitted that the players themselves had let it slip.
“It is tough to accept,” he said with a somewhat distant look. “I really believed that we could win and to not even get out of the first round, especially after the result and performance on Sunday (in a 1-1 draw against Costa Rica)... I thought we could at least reach the final.
“It is hugely disappointing.”
“The whole build-up (to the tournament) was not good,” added John. “We were not (properly) prepared (for the Gold Cup). But I still felt we could do it...
Hislop insisted that it was the attitude of the squad and not any tactical flaws which cost them their run in the tournament.
“It is not hard for anyone to beat us on a night like that,” he said.
It would have been a more than adequate excuse for the Warriors if last Tuesday’s defeat was a one-off situation. One result does not make a good team bad or vice versa.
But where is the justification in preserving a squad that, under Simoes, has lost six times in nine outings with just seven goals scored to 15 conceded?
It is a question that would have been bandied about in the halls of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation (T&TFF) to the offices of the Ministry of Sport—who have been asked to pay the US$50,000 per month salary required by the Brazilian entourage.
Not surprisingly, the pair gave strong backing to Simoes.
Hislop pointed out that the Martinique match was the first defeat in their last five games. John insisted that the Brazilian had brought a greater sense of camaraderie and self-belief to the squad.
Both men, who have worked under coaches the calibre of Kevin Keegan, Harry Redknapp and David Platt, are adamant that the “Professor” can —”with some luck”—deliver on his promise of a 2006 World Cup berth.
Hislop was literally pleading as he reviewed a chaotic past three years since his international debut in 1999 under Tobagonian coach Bertille St Clair.
“I am a big Bertille fan,” he said. “He is like a footballing father to me since I was about 10 years old. He would always have a special place in my heart.”
The goalkeeper has not forgotten what he termed the “unfair” dismissal of St Clair after T&T were eliminated in the semi-final round of the 2000 Gold Cup tournament.
And, for the first time, he blamed the poor decisions by the T&TFF and a weak coaching staff for their problems in an unsuccessful 2002 World Cup qualifying campaign.
“You don’t sack a man after he has done so well,” said Hislop, leaning forward again. “It was ridiculous... And to bring in a man (Ian Porterfield) with no proven track record, it left a bad taste in everybody’s mouth.”
The Scotsman, he revealed, never had the full respect of his players and this cost the Warriors dearly in the final CONCACAF qualifying round.
“When the chips are down, you are looking for a leader to step up,” he said. “And if the man in charge is not someone you can look up to and respect, you will find it hard to pull yourselves out of a rut which is what happened.”
It is time, according to the former engineering major at Howard University, for the T&TFF to begin making “more responsible business decisions”.
He called for better representation for local and international footballers in the form of a union similar to England’s Players Football Association (PFA) who will have an idea of the financial side of the game.
“The financial package they (the T&TFF) offered us was diabolic,” Hislop claimed. But most of all, the pair asked for time to allow the team to continue the rebuilding process under their present coach.
“You can’t grow today for today,” said John. “It is not an overnight thing. It takes time.”
Over the weekend, the T&TFF agreed as president Oliver Camps gave the Brazilian coach the support of the governing body.
Hislop and John—and presumably their teammates—would be relieved.
There is still quite some distance to cover however before Simoes justifies the faith that has been placed in him.
It is a point that must not be ignored when the 2006 World Cup campaign begins.
Optimistic Shaka Hislop stands behind Technical Director.
By Shaun Fuentes.
12-Jan-2002 - A few hours before going into Friday's warm-up encounter against Grenada, Trinidad and Tobago captain Shaka Hislop emphasized that he is confident of a good showing by this country at the upcoming 2002 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
"The spirit is high despite the fact that we've been getting some negative publicity in recent weeks. The moral is great as always and I think everyone is just looking forward to the tournament," said the West Ham United 'keeper.
Hislop said he felt Simoes was the man to guide T&T to a World Cup Finals, adding that he didn't think his uncertainty as Technical Director would affect the team.
"That is something we have to work on and see what happens. Obviously the coach is going make his own mind up with regards to where his future lies. He's a man of very high morals as he's shown in the past. Of course I am confident that he will stay and I am also confident that he is the man to take us to the Germany 2006 World Cup. Nobody can put a price on that. It's invaluable as far as this country is concerned, as far as this country's football is concerned.
"We have nothing to do with the things going on behind the scene. We are players and we have to represent our country to the best of our ability," said Hislop.
Reflecting on way in which the coach of the team during the 2000 Gold Cup lost his position, Hislop saw a similar situation in the making but under different circumstances.
"But it won't affect us in anyway. We will go out there with as much pride and honour as we had done two years go," said Hislop.
"I feel fine and as I said before this tournament could not have come at a better time for me," he added, meanwhile Reading fans have been dreaming of the return of Shaka Hislop as we continue our search for a new goalkeeper, because the big Trinidad international has found himself out of contention at West Ham in recent weeks. The Royals are hoping to move for a short-term shot-stopper some time this week, but first team coach Kevin Dillon told readingfc.co.uk that there is no chance of Shaka being that man. He said, "Shaka's with Trinidad for the Gold Cup, so he's out of the equation!
"Shaka stayed with me when he came over to Reading on trial and it was a bit of a surprise when I saw this big Trinidadian in my room! We're still in touch and he's good friends with Tony Rougier.
"He's the best 'keeper we've ever had at this club, and he's a great player."
Shaka Hislop set for Hammers farewell.