Shaka Hislop: West Ham youngster Nathan Trott will benefit from AFC Wimbledon loan spell

Shaka Hislop


Former West Ham United goalkeeper Shaka Hislop says young stopper Nathan Trott will benefit from his upcoming loan spell at EFL League One club AFC Wimbledon.

Trott is in line to make his senior debut after linking up with ex-Hammers coach Wally Downes, who led the Dons to safety and an impressive FA Cup win over the Irons last season. 

And Hislop, who won Hammer of the Year honours and played in the 2006 FA Cup final during two spells in east London, says the loan spell will toughen 20-year-old Trott up for the challenges he will face during his career. 

West Ham know exactly how important young talent is to the club and continue to do as good a job as any, certainly in England, in developing young talent

Shaka Hislop

“It’s a great start for somebody at 20 years old,” Hislop told The Royal Gazette, a newspaper in Trott’s home island of Bermuda. “It’s a lot tougher when you step down to those divisions. The focus isn’t on football and playing out of the back, which is one of Nathan’s strengths.

“It’s a whole lot more physical. Players are bigger, they are stronger and the game is played in the air a whole lot more, so it is more challenging.

“As big as he is for his age and as commanding as he is in the air, he’s still 20 years old, and there’s only so much in terms of physicality he can endure at that age. It is a steep learning curve, but one that stands him well in the long term.

“Just looking back at my own time I was at West Ham when the likes of Frank Lampard, Rio Ferdinand and Jermain Defoe went out on loan and came back and seeing how that first team experience, albeit at a slightly lower level, had served them well I think this is following that similar path.

“West Ham know exactly what they are doing when it comes to developing young talent. Giving them opportunities in the first team, sending them out on loan is exactly what West Ham have done to very good effect.

“West Ham know exactly how important young talent is to the club and continue to do as good a job as any, certainly in England, in developing young talent.”


Nathan Trott has joined AFC Wimbledon on a season-long loan deal


Hislop, who grew up in Trinidad and Tobago and played collegiate football in the United States before kicking-off his own professional career at the relatively late age of 23 with Reading, is now a respected pundit.

And the 2006 FIFA World Cup finalist believes youngster Trott has the talent and abilities to follow in his footsteps and reach the top of the game.

“He certainly looks like he has all the attributes,” Hislop, who originally joined West Ham 21 years ago this week, observed. “He does everything very well.

“He’s technically very sound which I always think is a really good sign for a goalkeeper that age. I kind of base my own career and the length of it off being technically sound.

“I don’t think I was as gifted as other goalkeepers. But I certainly paid a lot of close attention to technique and making sure I’m doing things right, and I think that served me well certainly in the long term and playing as long as I did.

“To see somebody at 20 years old with those physical attributes and also have good technique with it, I think is very encouraging.”