28 Jun 2005
- Written by Lasana Liburd (T&T Express)
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The 36-year-old Trinidad and Tobago goalkeeper left Premiership club, Portsmouth, in May after serving a three-year contract with the south coast team that saw them catapult from First Division stragglers to the English top flight.
Hislop's relationship with "Pompey" soured after the acrimonious departure of former manager Harry Redknapp to bitter rivals Southampton, last November, and the goalie was not offered a new deal by current boss, Alain Perrin.
Ipswich, who finished third in the League Championship last term before being edged by West Ham in the Play Offs, are offering Hislop a new challenge although there are several respectable suitors.
He suggested that the "Tractor Boys" form last season, as well as a glowing recommendation from his Portsmouth teammate David Unsworth, who spent six months on loan at Ipswich this year, piqued his curiosity.
"Ipswich have shown interest but they are not the only ones to do so," Hislop told the Trinidad Express. "They were highly recommended by my friend David Unsworth and they have made a very interesting offer. There are still other interested clubs so I will have to decide soon.
"I will probably have to do it over the phone because of my international commitments (at the 2005 CONCACAF Gold Cup tournament)."
One sticking point about Ipswich's approach is the issue of relocation.
Hislop lives on the south coast at present and would be unable to commute to Ipswich in East Anglia-a three and a half-hour drive barring traffic.
He is unlikely to unsettle his family, which comprises his wife, Desha, and four children, so soon after settling into life at Hampshire for a short-term deal. It is an occupational hazard as a professional athlete but still something he will consider with his family before any agreement is reached.
Ipswich last played in the Premiership in the 2001/02 season when they were relegated despite finishing fifth in the previous term when they qualified for the UEFA Cup. They maintained a presence in the top half of the League Championship standings ever since but have so far been unable to force their way back into the top flight.