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HISLOP Shaka

08 June, 2006

Shaka Hislop is one of the most experienced and widely known players to have represented Trinadad and Tobago.Hislop is usually his country’s No.1 goalkeeper when fit, although he was kept on his toes throughout the 2006 FIFA World Cup™ qualifying campaign

Name:  HISLOP Shaka

Date of birth:  22 February 1969

Height:  193 cm

Weight:  91 kg

Position:  Goalkeeper

Current Club:  West Ham (ENG)

Int'l Caps:  24 (as of 4-Jun-2006)

First Int'l Cap:  Trinidad & Tobago v. Jamaica (28-Mar-1999)

Detail:  Currently plying his trade in the English Premiership with West Ham United, Shaka Hislop is one of the most experienced and widely known players to have represented Trinadad and Tobago.

Born in the East End of London on 22 February 1969, Hislop is usually his country’s No.1 goalkeeper when fit, although he was kept on his toes throughout the 2006 FIFA World Cup™ qualifying campaign by the form of Dundee’s Kelvin Jack.

It was actually in an England shirt that the 37-year-old made his first international appearance but, as he had represented the land of his birth just once at U-21 level, FIFA subsequently deemed him eligible to play for T&T due to the fact that both his parents were born in Trinidad.

After spending time at Howard University in the United States, Hislop’s career in English football began in earnest in 1992 when he signed for Reading. Three successful seasons and 104 league starts with the Royals followed before, in 1995, Newcastle United stepped in with a bid of 1.5million pounds to take him to St James’ Park, where he made 53 league appearances.

After struggling to hold down a first-team place at Newcastle, Hislop returned to London in 1998 and joined West Ham United, where he was named Player of the Year at the end of his first season. He enjoyed four seasons at Upton Park and, after a three-year spell at Portsmouth from 2002-05, in which time he helped them win promotion to the Premiership, he returned to West Ham last summer following their own return to the top tier of English football.

Hislop has been competing with Roy Carroll for a starting role at West Ham over the past season but he is still every inch a star back in Trinidad and Tobago. His 1.98m frame and razor-sharp reflexes also continue to make him a formidable barrier for opposition strikers, and his superior top-level experience may well prove his trump card when it comes time for Leo Beenhakker to choose his goalkeeper for the finals.

For Hislop, who won his first T&T cap in 1999, the prospect of playing on world football’s biggest stage makes him more determined than ever to claim the No.1 shirt. “Kelvin has held (it) for a while now and done well, so it will be hard to displace him,” he admitted. “But this is a chance for us to show what we have in the World Cup and I want to be a part of it.”

And should he get the nod, Hislop will likely have a key part to play in keeping Sweden, England and Paraguay at bay in Germany.


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