St. Kitts and Nevis international Tishan Hanley was among the new faces who graced the Philippine football scene back in the April. He travelled over 16,000 kilometres from St.Kitts via the USFL’s Richmond Kickers to showcase his skill to the Filipino fans, particularly those of Kaya. So far, the Caribbean man has done no wrong.
Hanley began donning Kaya’s colors in the Phillipines United Football League (UFL) Cup where he contributed seven goals to the club’s 100% record in their group. The impeccable performance merited them the top seed in the tournament. He shared that it was his agent who brought up the idea of going halfway around the world to play in the UFL. Interested, Hanley opted to take the challenge of playing in Asia. “Now, I’m enjoying it and I really like it here,” he declared.
He followed in the footsteps of one of his idols Kittitian soccer legend Kieth ‘Kayamba” Gumbs who also played In Asia and had a glorious career there with teams in Indonesia and Hong Kong.
Hanley’s latest achievement came last Saturday when his hattrick aided Kaya to a 4-1 victory over Pachanga-Diliman. The Kittitian refused to take full credit in his team’s most comfortable win in the second round of the UFL Division I thus far. “I give all the credit to my teammates. I just happened to take the ball into the back of the net when I had my chances,” the center-forward said.
Not known to many, the newest gentleman on the Kaya frontline, like some of his teammates, also has a number of international caps to his name. Hanley has represented his country in 15 matches, including the recently played opening two rounds of the Confederation of North, Central America, and Caribbean Football (CONCACAF) 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers. Coming off the bench in three of the four games played by St. Kitts and Nevis, Hanley notched one of the 12 goals his team grabbed against Turks and Caicos in Round 1. The journey continued against El Salvador, who ousted them 6-3 on aggregate. The string of results on the fruitless road to Russia 2018 led them closer to the Philippines. Ranked 99th in the world last month, Hanley’s country slid down to 120th, just four spots above the land where he plays his club football.
He, however, targets an ascent in the league with Kaya. Hanley may not be able to assure Kaya fans that he will score goals in every game but vows to show his dedication to the team’s cause. “You can expect me to work hard for the team. I’ll try to do my best to help my team win,” he promised. Right now, Kaya is placed second in the standings, six points behind Ceres-La Salle. Also, Hanley’s newest team owns the top seed in the UFL Cup, where they are among the favorites to lift the coveted trophy. With Kaya expected to mount a strong challenge, many eyes might be set on the dazzling 24 year old talent from Basseterre.