Former Phoenix star Paul Ifill retires

Former Wellington Phoenix star Paul Ifill announced his retirement from professional football on Wednesday.

The 35-year-old Barbados international made the decision after struggling to recover from a ruptured Achilles tendon during the 2013/14 A-League season.

Despite suffering injuries at crucial times, English-born Ifill enjoyed a stellar career making more than 400 professional appearances with the likes of Crystal Palace, Millwall and Sheffield United.

In his five A-league season with the Phoenix he scored 33 goals in 106 appearances and was twice named as the club’s Player of the Year and selected in the PFA A-League Team of the Season.

Ifill said he could look back on his career with pride.

“I had hoped to play a few more seasons in the A-League but unfortunately due to injury that will not be the case,” Ifill told the Phoenix website.

“Whilst this is hugely disappointing I now look forward to the next chapter of my 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 truly outstanding seasons and I wish them all the very best for the future.”

When FourFourTwo spoke to Ifill in October last year he still held out hope of returning to the A-League.

In the end it wasn't to be - but he won't be spoilt for options. 

During his time on the sidelines, Ifill took on his coaching badges, writing a book and public speaking work at schools and in the corporate sector.