Wed, May

Former national player Shaka Hislop (second left, back row) poses with T&T Maestors players and their coach Sheldon DeFreitas (back centre) as well as youth football organiser Nekeisha (back left).

Former Trinidad and Tobago goalkeeper and current ESPN FC analyst, Shaka Hislop, surprised T&T Maestros with a visit on Saturday during a training session at the Laventille Community Complex.

Hislop has partnered with the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service to assist football clubs in the Morvant/Laventille area.

The 49 year old, who played at the 2006 World Cup in Germany, donated 30 pairs of football boots to T&T Maestros.

Sheldon De Freitas, coach of T&T Maestros, yesterday expressed gratitude to Hislop and his team for the generous donation and for inspiring his youngsters.

“Half of them did not have boots. He met some of them wearing sneakers to training so they were really in need,” De Freitas said.

“I feel it is commendable that a guy with that stature could make a gesture and come here when he doesn’t even live in Trinidad. It was a surprise visit with him and his brother Kona Hislop,” he continued.

The youth coach lamented that football icons who grew up right in their area have never done anything to assist. He said the young footballers were all delighted to get to interact with someone they look at on TV.

“They’re familiar with him from ESPN, so they were real excited to meet him. He told them to go for their dreams because it is not where you start but where you come from.’Once you have the ambition, you can make it’, he said, and he is a very good example. He said to focus on the academics as well as sport because it is necessary for contracts and in life,” De Freitas said.

Kona Hislop yesterday refused to take any credit for the benevolent gesture, praising Police for the work it is doing in the community.

Kona said his brother acquired donations of boots, uniforms and footballs from several clubs in North America and distributed it to several local clubs.