Paul Ifill takes Director of Football role with national champs Wellington Olympic

National champions Wellington Olympic have named Paul Ifill as their Director of Football and have appointed a new-look coaching staff for their men’s first team.

Former Wellington Phoenix striker Ifill (44) joins Olympic from Christchurch United, where he held a similar role.

Main photo: Paul Ifill … Olympic’s new director of football.

Olympic have appointed Ekow Quainoo (36) as their new first-team coach. He also joins from Christchurch United, where he and Ifill had much success last season, winning the Southern League and Chatham Cup.

Quainoo joined United in 2022 after six years with Coastal Spirit.

Olympic’s goalkeeper coach will be Alex Britton (24), who assisted Ifill when he was head coach of the Samoan national women’s team. He’s a Wellington Phoenix academy coach and was at Wairarapa United when Ifill coached there in 2020.

The fourth member of the coaching group will be assistant coach Taylor Hall-Jones (30), who led Olympic’s reserve team to the Capital Premier League title. He was named Capital Football Federation Coach of the Year in 2023.

‘We look forward to a successful partnership’

Olympic’s president, Paul Kotrotsos, said:

“We are delighted to welcome Paul, Ekow, and Alex to Wellington Olympic, alongside Taylor. Their proven track record, combined with their commitment to player development, aligns perfectly with our club’s vision. We look forward to a successful partnership and achieving new heights together.”

The group will need to hit the ground running with Olympic facing a two-legged play-off with arch-rivals Auckland City in February/March to decide which club represents New Zealand in next year’s OFC Champions League.

The coaching staff have replaced former head coach Rupert Kemeys (35) and his assistant, Scoota Roche (35) who stepped down after Olympic’s win against Auckland City in November’s Grand Final of the National League.

READ MORE: Olympic to lose coach Rupert Kemeys and top goalscorer Gianni Bouzoukis >>>>

Paul Ifill: An illustrious career

As a player, Ifill was an accomplished striker in the English Premier League and English Championship with Millwall, Sheffield United, and Crystal Palace.

He moved to New Zealand to join A-League club Wellington Phoenix FC where he made more than 100 appearances, scoring with a goals-to-games ratio of 3:1.

The 10-cap Barbados international became Christchurch United’s head coach in 2021, leading them back into National League football after an absence of three decades.

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