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Sat, Jul

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1. No doubt you have answered your biggest critics after some fine display of goalkeeping at the 2006 world cup in Germany. You are now rated in the top 3 keepers of the tournament. Now that- that's, over where are you heading now, as I understand you are yet to sign an extended West Ham United contract.
SH: That's right; I haven't signed my new West Ham deal as previously reported. A move could be on the cards. You should hear more in the next day or two.

2. As the saying goes, "time flies" the 2010 qualifiers are 2 years away how do you think we should go about preparing for it.
SH: The first and most important step has already been put in place with the re-appointment of Leo Beenhakker as the head coach for 4 more years. We've learned a lot in our experiences over the last year and need to continue to learn from them. Keeping a nucleus of players from this year's tournament will also prove to be key.

3. Do you think our Technical Director Mr. Lincoln Phillips is the right man for this job. Can you touch on his progress this far or what is needed to be done in order to keep the ball rolling.
SH: Lincoln is a proven winner with a record which speaks for itself particularly in technical roles such as the one he's spearheading now for the TTFF. Too often in the past these roles have been neglected. I've been bleating on for some time about how important it was that we got the administrative and technical sides of our governing body (the TTFF) right for us to progress on the football pitch. We've done that, and certainly have the right people in place, drastic changes now could prove detrimental to our efforts for 2010. One of the things many people don't know is that Lincoln strongly recommended Leo Beenhakker for the head coach's job after the dismissal of Bertille St. Clair. He based his recommendation on not only Beenhakker's track record as a top level coach, but also on the effect the only previous Dutch coach had on T&T football, preceding the Strike Squad (you would probably know more than me on this). Beenhakker's appointment was seen not only as a short-term fix but Lincoln knew it would have real long term benefit to our game.

4. Can you give us a brief run down on how was the experience at the world cup - e.g.

a) Were you nervous, which game in particular.
SH: I wasn't nervous, strangely, something upset me a few days before the first game and I used that emotion to get me through the game. After that I was almost on auto-pilot.

b) Who shirts you got after both games.
SH: I swapped shirts with the goalkeepers in each of the games I played. I kept my own shirt after the Paraguay game.

c) Did you get any props from some of your former English team-mates who lined up against you.
SH: Most of the English players were either too relieved, too tired, or both to say much after the game. I had a chat with Joe Cole and Rio after the game, but remember Steven Gerrard saying that we should be “very proud” of our performance. It was scant consolation at the time though.

d) What was the English and Swedish players telling you after the game.
SH: The Swedish players didn't have too much to say after the game. Besides, we were too busy celebrating.

e) How was the training leading up to the games.
SH: Training leading up to the games was exactly as they had been for some time. Intense but enjoyable.

f) How was the support from the fans.
SH: FANTASTIC!!!!! They took Germany by storm! Every Trinbagonian should be proud.

g) Who was the motivator in the locker room.
SH: Dwight. Captain Fantastic.

5. Why were you dropped from the team for our last game against Paraguay after you gave such a brave display. In other words, do you think the coach loyalty to certain players cloud his selection.
SH: I fully understand and respect the coach's decision to play Kelvin in the last game. Kelvin is a fantastic goalkeeper and will always have my full support and backing, whenever and wherever he needs it.

6. What was the reason for us wearing long sleeve shirts when we played Paraguay.
SH: The captain chose that, you'll have to ask him. I always wear long-sleeved shirts! HAHAHA!!!

7. Seeing that you are close to retirement age. If you were given a chance to be goalkeeper coach for T&T will you accept the job. Also, do you think Russell Latapy and Dwight Yorke can be of any help to us (off the field off course) for the 2010 push.
SH: We have a very good goalkeeping coach in Michael Maurice, I'll never step on his toes in that respect. And yes it's imperative that the experience and knowledge of our 2 most successful foot-balling exports is called upon and relied on.

8. Were you please with the reward that the T&T Government gave you. Or did you prefer something other than money, for instance a piece of land, or give the TTFF money towards the 2010 program, maybe a team buss and first class training facility or something else.
SH: No comment.

9. We all know how poor the government has been to the sport and we know players deserve to get paid because that's their jobs. However, do you think by the T&T government giving players money could send the wrong message. Can this improve or affect the future of T&T players wanting to don the red, black and white. Could this affect team pride or will it act as an incentive for the future ones to step up.
SH: The government have a responsibility to ALL sport in T&T, their successes or failures in this respect are not for me to comment on. AS far as rewarding us financially goes, we’re professional footballers, all of us. We get paid to play football. The government rewarding us for our efforts is only in keeping with our profession, and can only serve to encourage others to follow in our footsteps. It is not an easy road to follow though. It takes a lot of dedication, sweat and patience.

10. How will you feel if coach Leo Beenhakker and his assistant Whim Rijsbergen stay on for another 4 years. Do you think he has it in him to repeat the 2006 success.
SH: I commented on this earlier.

11. We at the Soca Warriors Online was dreaded by the news last week learning that your uncle passed and we would like to offer you our deepest condolence. Do you have any words for the fans of the Soca Warriors Online.
SH: Thanks for your condolences. And thank you for your continued support over the years. It means more than you can ever imagine.

12. Who do you feel will win the 2006 world cup and if you were asked to name an all-star eleven, who will you choose.
SH: France. And I won't.

Thank You...
Shaka Hislop.

Note:
On behalf of the Soca Warriors Online I just what to say Thank You to Mr. Shaka Hislop for taking the time to do this interview for us. Please keep up the great work you are doing and we all wish you all the best for the future of T&T football...

05-Jul-2006.