26 Feb 2015

Ifill retires from football

12:00 pm on 26 February 2015

The former Wellington Phoenix forward Paul Ifill has announced his retirement from professional football due to injury.

Footballer Paul Ifill playing for Team Wellington.

Footballer Paul Ifill playing for Team Wellington. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The Barbados international has been unable to fully recovery from a ruptured achilles tendon he sustained while playing for the Phoenix during the 2013/14 A-League season.

Ifill had recently been appearing for Team Wellington in New Zealand's top flight domestic league, with hopes of playing his way back into an A-League contract with the Phoenix.

The announcement brings to an end a playing career in which he made over 400 professional appearances with the likes of English clubs Crystal Palace, Millwall and Sheffield United.

During his five seasons in the A-league with the Phoenix he scored 33 goals, and was twice named as the club's Player of the Year and selected in the PFA A-League Team of the Season.

Ifill says he can look back with pride at his career.

"I had hoped to play a few more seasons in the A-League but unfortunately due to injury that will not be the case," said Ifill.

The 35-year-old, who signed with Team Wellington in January, says the Achilles is no longer as strong as it used to be making it harder for him to push off and jump.

After 17 years as a professional, Ifill says it's disappointing not to be retiring on his own terms, but he's now looking forward to the next chapter of his life.

"During my career I was fortunate enough to experience some truly outstanding moments and none more so than the FA Cup Final during my time at Millwall where we faced Manchester United."

"However what really stands out, when I look back, is the friends I have made through football and this has never been more so than during my time at the Phoenix."

"When I first joined the Phoenix I had no idea what to expect and it has been an unbelievable experience."

"I would like to thank everyone at the club and the fans for five outstanding seasons and I wish them all the very best for the future."

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