No one in the Hyundai A-League is looking forward to pre-season training more than Wellington Phoenix striker Paul Ifill.
The talented Ifill is gradually working his way back to full fitness after sustaining a serious ankle injury against Newcastle Jets in December.
Ifill did make it back on to the field as a substitute in the playoff loss to Adelaide United but it was obvious that he was off the pace.
“I wasn-t miles away from full fitness but it was difficult,” Ifill said.
“”Sometimes that sort of thing works, sometimes it doesn-t, but Ricki [Herbert] and myself felt it was worth the risk because it was going to be a long off season.”
Ifill said his rehabilitation has been going to plan and he is confident he will be in good shape when the competition kicks off in October.
“I-ve been running and working hard in the gym, and in the last week have been doing some football related work.
“I felt terrible after the first session but I am sure I will be well on the way when the rest of the squad come back in next month.
“I think the off season is far too long this year, and I hope it doesn-t happen again, but the extra time could be good for me.
“The ankle is fine, but in the last month I had some soreness behind the knee.
That is clearing up now and what I need is a really good pre-season.”