Thought I'd give this a plug. Steven Holloway (NZME sports editor and local football hack) and Seamus Marten (former OFC and NZF team manager) have started a long form podcast interviewing various football people about their careers. They've had Neil Emblem, GGW, Che Bunce, AWs Physio Roland Jeffrey, Aaron Scott.
On this episode of Between Two Beers we talk to Paul Ifill.
We talk to Paul Ifill about the time he tore his groin celebrating Tim Cahill’s winner in the 2004 FA Cup semi-final, playing against Ronaldo, Giggs, Scholes, Keane and Van Nisteloory in the final, the time he was dropped due to one of Neil Warnock’s wife's dreams, his experiences with Keith Gillespie – who gambled away 7 million pounds across his career, why he’s a part owner of a petrol station in Sierra leone, and why he hung one of Steve's columns from his fridge in 2015
Latest is with Ryan Nelsen. We hear Ryan's best stories from eight years in the EPL, his frustrations with the All Whites in 2010, what it was like playing with Tugay, Gareth Bale, Harry Kane and Luke Modric, and against Henry and Berkamp, Ronaldinho and Neymar, the time he 'made the moves' on Chelsea Clinton at Stanford university, fought El Hadji Djouf at Everton and so, so many other cracking yarns from an incredible career.
Great listen, though I'm only part way through as it goes for nearly 2 hours! What is obvious is that some of real 'amateur' administration stuff at Football NZ, used to really piss Nellie off. Sense that AWs/Oly Whites were constantly hamstrung by having 2nd rate preparation, travel or whatever compared to their opponents.
He's saying is much better now, and has some faith in Danny Hay. Hope he's right.
And yes the Chelsea Clinton story is a goodie. He may have been in the US a long time, but he still has that Kiwi self deprecating way about him, if I'm sure underneath a huge steely will to succeed at anything he does.
Edit - finished. Awesome listen. Some good yarns in there. If you can ever find a lazy 2 hours, well worth it. Oh and turns out coaching was something that he didn't enjoy at all, never again apparently.
Really interesting story was how basically Ferguson organised, who got the away team Player of the Day award at Old Trafford games. Was to be a player that he had some interest in, at maybe bringing to Man U. So Nelsen, got the award one day, even though he and his team mates thought he had a stinker in a loss to Man U.
Post match he got to meet Fergie, and some of his coaching staff, so they could check him out a bit, have a general chat etc. They even told him then (or maybe at a later chat) that their research had showed that around the 6 yard box, he was 2nd only to John Terry over the whole EPL at that time. But unfortunately for Nelsen's Old Trafford's dreams, they in the end decided he would be too slow for the high line Man U played.
Great pod, I've listened to all of the football related ones and journo's (Rattue, Cleaver, Stevenson), the one with Declan Edge is an interesting one...
I played Premier grade cricket in CHC with Nellie for a year, the only year he played (he would have been 18) as football took over, but a seriously talented batsman. Likely would have gone a long way in that code too...
Yipe captain of NZ U18s cricket team. With Marshall brothers, Dan Vettori, Jacob Oram etc. In the podcast he said he's still a cricket tragic/nuffy, and will always wonder how far he could have gone in whites.
Oram went the other way. Very talented GK who chose cricket. Remember a chant from the beige brigade at the Basin, 'ex football GK, ex football GK' or similar, when he made a diving save at gully.
Thought Nelsen also had some interesting quotes on Standford. That just being in that Ivy League college environment for a few years is great, as the whole uni setup there is about 'driving excellence'. And for someone like him, he thrived off that. No tall poppy syndrome there. Wonder if he keeps in touch much with Tim Brown.
I really hope that now and again NZF/Hay, does take up his offer for motivational/self belief Zoom chats and the like, when teams are in camp. All good stuff.