Paul Ifill

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Paul Ifill
Paul Ifill.jpg
Ifill playing for Wellington Phoenix in 2009
Personal information
Full name Paul Everton Ifill
Date of birth (1979-10-20) 20 October 1979 (age 39)[1]
Place of birth Brighton, England
Height 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Playing position Winger / Striker
Club information
Current team
Tasman United (player/assistant manager)
Number 8
Youth career
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1997–1998 Saltdean United 25 (5)
1998–2005 Millwall 238 (40)
2005–2007 Sheffield United 42 (9)
2007–2009 Crystal Palace 61 (9)
2009–2014 Wellington Phoenix 106 (33)
2014–2015 Team Wellington 8 (0)
2015–2016 Hawke's Bay United 8 (3)
2016–2018 Tasman United 32 (20)
2018– Hawke's Bay United 3 (1)
National team
2004–2008 Barbados 10 (6)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 9 November 2018
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 25 February 2010

Paul Everton Ifill (born 20 October 1979) is a footballer who currently plays as a forward for Hawke's Bay United in the New Zealand Football Championship.

Born in Brighton, England, Ifill was in part of Watford's youth programme but was not offered a professional contract and moved to non-league Saltdean United. From there he was spotted by Millwall where he spent nearly seven years before being signed by Sheffield United in 2005. After two season with the Blades he transferred to Crystal Palace where he spent a further two seasons, before moving to New Zealand to play for Wellington Phoenix in the A-League, where he played from 2009 – 2014, until being forced into early retirement due to injury. Ifill has also made ten appearances for Barbados, scoring six goals.

Club career[edit]

After rejection from Watford's youth team as a 16-year-old, Ifill returned to his home town, Brighton, he enrolled on a physical education course at college and played non-League football in the same Saltdean United team as his father.


Jeff Burnidge and Mick Beard scouted Ifill following a tip from a former Millwall player, and Millwall signed him as a centre-forward.

After he suffered injury at a crucial time between contracts, manager Billy Bonds gave him just one month to prove himself. Ifill responded by scoring four goals the next Saturday and two more the following week.

Injuries led to Millwall switching him to midfield, but a recurring back-injury prevented him from sprinting, a basic requirement for a winger. Despite seeing a number of different specialists, he was out for three months, and seemed in danger of having to end his career. Fortunately, a Harley Street consultant diagnosed a pelvic flaw pressing on a nerve: the day after treatment he was able to sprint again, he was a member of the team that reached the 2004 FA Cup Final, where they lost to Manchester United 3–0.

Sheffield United[edit]

He signed for Sheffield United in May 2005 for £800,000, after making over 200 league appearances at The New Den.

In his first season at Bramall Lane, United raced into a large lead, and despite falling behind eventual champions Reading, the Blades finished as runners-up, securing promotion to the Premier League in the process.

In the top flight, Ifill fell out of favour, and boss Neil Warnock placed him on the transfer list. During the January transfer window, Ifill left the Blades and after much competition from other clubs was unveiled by Crystal Palace, having signed for a reported £800,000 fee.

Crystal Palace[edit]

At Palace, Ifill's career stuttered, with him struggling for fitness. Warnock's appointment to the manager's post at Palace did not leave him without any chances, but nevertheless Ifill struggled to remain fit.

On 18 August 2008, Ifill and teammate Carl Fletcher were put on the transfer list by manager Neil Warnock, he was released by Crystal Palace on 6 May 2009 with eight other players.[2]

Wellington Phoenix[edit]

On 21 July 2009, Ifill signed a two-year contract with New Zealand-based Wellington Phoenix of the Australian A-League, he scored his first goal for his new club in his second appearance netting a header off a pinpoint cross from Leo Bertos to help secure a 2–1 win over Perth Glory at Westpac Stadium. Ifill's second goal came against Adelaide United.

On 6 September 2009 two days after his goal against Adelaide, Ifill signed a contract extension to keep him at the Phoenix until the end of the 2011–12 season, with an option for an extra year.[3]

Ifill's third goal came on 25 October 2009 as the Phoenix hammered Gold Coast United 6–0, a regular-season record for the largest win. Ifill not only scored, but provided three assists in a masterful performance.

Ifill then scored in three consecutive games for the Phoenix, resulting in two wins and a draw for the fledgling club. On 31 December 2009, Ifill scored both goals in a 2–0 win over the Central Coast Mariners, pushing the Phoenix back up to seventh position in a congested ladder.

In Ifill's first two games of 2010, Ifill provided the Phoenix with an assist to Eugene Dadi in a match against the Brisbane Roar as well as a goal against North Queensland Fury.

Ifill's tenth goal for the Wellington Phoenix came on 7 February 2010 via a penalty against Gold Coast United in a 1–0 win; the goal put the Wellington club into the top four leading into the final round of the regular season.

Ifill then scored twice more against Central Coast Mariners in the final round of the regular season to help his team to a 3–0 win, securing fourth position. In the process, Ifill joined former Phoenix marksman Shane Smeltz as record holder of most goals scored in a regular season (12).

Ifill scored in the penalty shoot-out as the Phoenix prevailed over Perth Glory 1–1 (4–2 on penalties) in the first week of the playoffs. Ifill scored an extra-time goal as the Phoenix moved past Newcastle Jets 3–1 in the second week; however Ifill had a comparatively quiet match as the Phoenix were downed 4–2 by eventual champions Sydney FC in the Preliminary Final.

Ifill was injured early in the Phoenix's game against Newcastle Jets on 18 December 2010, and it was initially feared he had broken his leg.[4] However, later scans showed that there was no fracture, but an ankle sprain with some ligament damage; the expectation was that he would miss six weeks of the 2010/11 season.[5]

On 8 December 2011, it was announced that Ifill had signed a two-year contract extension with the club.

Coaching career[edit]

In 2015, Ifill took on a player/ coach role at Wairarapa United in the Men's Central League, he runs this alongside his two Paul Ifill Football Academies in Nelson and Masterton.

International career[edit]

Ifill plays internationally for Barbados due to parental nationality and played in two World Cup qualifying games for Barbados in June 2004 against St Kitts & Nevis.

He was recalled to the squad for three Caribbean Nations Cup 2007 Group B fixtures against St Kitts and Nevis, Antigua & Barbuda and Anguilla at the Antigua Recreation Ground. On 24 September 2006, he scored a hat-trick for Barbados during their 7–1 Gold Cup qualifying victory over Anguilla at the Antigua Recreation Ground.

Ifill was recalled for Barbados' semifinal Group G, in which he scored twice in three games, as the hosts advanced to the finals, in Trinidad and Tobago, in January 2007.

He scored all his international goals for Barbados in the 2006–07 Caribbean Nations Cup, the qualification tournament for the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup.

Ifill captained his country against USA in two 2010 World Cup qualification matches, which Barbados lost 9–0 on aggregate.

Paul Ifill International goals
# Date Opponent Stadium Final Score Result Competition
1 20 September 2006  Saint Kitts and Nevis Antigua Recreation Ground 1–1 Draw Caribbean Nations Cup 2006/07
2 24 September 2006  Anguilla Antigua Recreation Ground 7–1 Win Caribbean Nations Cup 2006/07
5 21 November 2006  Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Barbados National Stadium 3–0 Win Caribbean Nations Cup 2006/07
6 28 November 2006  Bermuda Barbados National Stadium 1–1 Draw Caribbean Nations Cup 2006/07
Last updated 1 September 2010

International career statistics[edit]


Barbados national team
Year Apps Goals
2004 2 0
2005 0 0
2006 6 6
2007 0 0
2008 2 0
Total 10 6


  1. ^ Hugman, Barry J., ed. (2009). The PFA Footballers' Who's Who 2009–10. Mainstream Publishing. p. 209. ISBN 978-1-84596-474-0.
  2. ^ "Palace offer Kuqi new deal". Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  3. ^ "Wellington Phoenix Home". Wellington Phoenix. Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  4. ^ Worthington, Sam (20 December 2010). "Paul Ifill fears bad news from scan". The Dominion Post. Retrieved 2 November 2011.
  5. ^ "Phoenix's Paul Ifill sidelined for six weeks". 3 News. 21 December 2010. Retrieved 2 November 2011.
  6. ^ "Paul Ifill". National Football Teams. Benjamin Strack-Zimmerman.

External links[edit]