Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 19th 2015 Contents A52
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Thursday, November 19, 2015
Former national goalkeeper and
ESPN pundit Shaka Hislop was in
town on business and was scheduled
to fly out earlier in the week but opted
to reschedule his flight in order to
take in the 2018 World Cup qualifier
with the United States on Tuesday
And it s a decision he had no second
thoughts about as he expressed his
satisfaction with the way Stephen
Hart s team has progressed.
Hislop spoke of his feelings on the
ten-year 2006 World Cup qualification
anniversary which was marked on
"It is an emotional time especially
to be back here in the National Sta-
dium. You remember how it all came
about. You remember the relative dis-
appointment in the first game here in
the stadium and then how it all
It seems so fresh in the memory and
then to all recognise and realise that
it was ten years ago. It brings back a
lot of emotion," said the former New-
castle United goalkeeper, who made
26 appearances for T&T including two
2006 World Cup appearances against
Sweden and Paraguay.
Hislop said he continues to be
impressed by the current senior team
as he witnessed the 0-0 draw with
United States. To him, what makes the
progress even more striking all things
considered with the downslide which
followed with the "Soca Warriors" after
the 2006 World Cup experience and
what the team has had to endure since.
"I have to say the more I see this
team the more I am impressed with
it. As much as we talk about a ten-
year spell or a ten-year evolution to
have this team to what is today, we
have to remember what happened
immediately after our qualification and
our performance at the World Cup.
I thought we had taken a more
gigantic step forward in participating
in a World Cup but that was quickly
followed by two giant steps backwards.
"And now to have this team back to
where it is and playing as we are, to
see someone like Kenwyne Jones who
played in 2006 as one of the younger
players to take on a lot of the lessons
and the experiences of not just what
happened ten years ago but also what
happened with him and to be the leader
that he is in this team.
This makes it all the more impressive
when you consider not just where we
were in 2006 but how far we had fallen
by in 2007 and 2008 and not to see
where the team is at the moment."
Hoyte happy to be back
English-born defender Justin Hoyte
is back in the mix and he couldn t be
happier about being reunited with
his teammates on the national senior
Hoyte entered the match against
the United States in the second half
and settled in quickly and proved to
be a solid option for Stephen Hart off
"I think it was a great performance
by the team and by the squad over the
two games. Tonight was great the fans
were fantastic as well. It s really been
a good week for us," Hoyte said.
"But for me, I have to thank the
coach and his staff for getting be back
involved in the team again. It s been
a long summer for me.
I didn t; have a club, trying to find
one, just battling and training on my
own and spending time with the family.
I m just happy to be back in the squad
and among the great players we have
He described the mood on the team
bench during the match before he took
"It was a great atmosphere on the
bench. We were all talking and jumping
up and down when we could. It was
fantastic and I just wanted to get on.
I went for the warm up and then the
manager called for me. I was over the
moon when he called me and it was
just a great feeling," said the former
England national youth team player.
He spoke about some of the factors
that have made the team the strong
unit that it is at the moment.
"I think the togetherness that we
have is a big thing. We are fighting for
each other and there is a great union.
That s going to push us forward. We ve
been playing with each other for a long
time now. Whoever is playing on the
pitch has been doing great and fighting
for the team and whoever comes on
is doing the same. These are all good
qualities in the team that I think could
really make this a successful campaign
Boucaud: We matched them every
Andre Boucaud has been wearing
national team colours for a long
time. The English-based midfielder
made his debut against Iraq in West
Bromwich in 2004 before appearing
against Scotland seven days later.
His baptism of fire in World Cup
qualification came in a 3-1 loss to
Mexico in the second match of the
2006 World Cup qualification back
He remembers as if it were yester-
"I ve been in the national team for
a long time but I remember it like yes-
terday. When we went to Guatemala
for the game last week and I saw the
way the stands were build like cages
it reminded me a lot of when we also
traveled to play Mexico in 2004 after
Emotional November for Hislop
THE PRO LOOK
BY SHAUN FUENTES
we had played them in Port of
Spain. Of course I had a layoff
from the team for a few years but
now I couldn t be more thrilled
to be involved with this team that
is doing so well at the moment.
Sometimes I just miss being
around the squad when don t have
training camps or matches.
"And the way we played in these
last two qualifiers, all things con-
sidered with what we ve been
through at some times, I won t
give up the chance for anything.
I m just really proud of the squad
and the staff and then when we
get results it tops it all off," the
former Reading FC player said.
"I thought we all pulled our
weight, especially against the US.
They never got away from us.
Okay maybe there was a part in
the second half when they had a
good spell but we matched them
right through and I think we were
unfortunate not to score.
Had we gone ahead in the first
minute, that would have been fire-
works for the match and who
knows what would have gone on
to happen. But in the end I think
we re pleased with the start and
now it s just to look forward to
these two games in March and off
course the Haiti game in January
because it would be massive for
us to qualify for the Copa Amer-
•Shaun Fuentes is the director of
communications for the TTFA --
"I thought we had taken a more gigantic step forward in
participating in a World Cup but that was quickly followed by
two giant steps backwards. And now to have this team back to
where it is and playing as we are, to see someone like Kenwyne
Jones who played in 2006 as one of the younger players to take
on a lot of the lessons and the experiences of not just what
happened ten years ago but also what happened with him and
to be the leader that he is in this team"---Shaka Hislop
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