FOR all those still wondering whether England-based professional Shaka Hislop will be in goal when Trinidad and Tobago begin their World Cup quest next year, the answer is in the affirmative.
In a stirring interview with English reporters last week, the talented West Ham goalkeeper left no doubt about which colours he will be wearing when the World Cup qualifiers kick off next March. "There is no way you'll see me in an England shirt even if I was privileged enough to be picked," he explained.
"Of course, it is a huge boost to my confidence to hear people linking me with the national team. But I've made my choice and I'm not going to change it now."
The issue arose after Hislop, born in England of Trinidad and Tobago parents and so enjoying dual citizenship, produced yet another brilliant performance in West Ham's Premiership encounter against Tottenham Hotspur.
The former St Mary's College player, who had played for the England Under-21s and was on the bench for the senior team last year, had already hinted that he was looking T&T's way earlier this year.
But last week's unequivocal statement provided final confirmation that the lure of possible success with the English senior team would not see Hislop changing his mind.
Of his final choice, he explained: "There was a lot of soul-searching which went into my decision. "It took a long time to make but I have to say I am happy with it. I did not speak to anybody in the England camp. Instead I talked it over with my family and friends and my manager and they all said Trinidad is my real country and my best option."
He added: "I have made the decision and now I'm going to stick with it. I am confident it will be the right one in the long run."