Whatever Happened To – Chris Greenacre

In the seventies and early Eighties it was North America and for a few years in the Nineties it was Japan, then came the MSL revolution and the destination for aging or forgotten footballers went full circle and America was once more the desired destination. Nowadays, with the ever increasing expansion of the global game, footballers (and managers) have a myriad of options when deciding on their retirement plan including China and our very own A-league.

In this occasional series I will be highlighting football personalities who you may have forgotten who are now plying their trade Down Under. This time it is ex-Stoke centre forward, Chris Greenacre, who will perhaps forever be associated in Stoke’s fans eyes with the manager who brought him to the Brit, Steve Quiterel:

greenacre

Arriving in the Potteries, Greenacre was heralded by Stoke’s new boss as the answer to the team’s lak of goals but, as so often happens when a striker pulls on the famous red and white, Greenacre failed to deliver. Often the reason for his failure is attributed to injury but in his three full seasons at the club he managed to play seventy-five leagues games, scoring a less than impressive seven goals. Pushed out by fans favourite Ade Akinbiyi, Greenacre left for Tranmere Rovers before finding himself on the other side of the world with Wellington Phoenix.

Although troubled by injury Greenacre did well(ish) in New Zealand and has since become assistant manager at the club, initially to Riki Herbert and recently to Ernie Merrik.  Now that Merrik has stood down after a typically Stoke like start to the season Greenacre could become coach to New Zealand’s only A-League football team.

What Next For The 23,495 Pound Man?

In the seventies and early Eighties it was North America and for a few years in the Nineties it was Japan, then came the MSL revolution and the destination for aging or forgotten footballers went full circle and America was once more the desired destination. Nowadays, with the ever increasing expansion of the global game, footballers (and managers) have a myriad of options when deciding on their retirement plan including China and our very own A-league.

In this occasional series I will be highlighting football personalities who you may have forgotten who are now plying their trade Down Under. This time however it a footballer who is neither plying his trade nor at present has anything to do with football Down Under. Instead I look at the ex-Stoke player, Jermaine Pennant:

pounds

At times in the red and white shirt Pennant was a delight watch but most of the time he could at best be described as frustrating and at worse a passenger and his stay at Stoke was probably best remembered for his numerous off the pitch problems. Sadly, for Pennant, his time at Stoke, rather than being the exception, was typical of a career which started so when he was signed by Arsenal as a fifteen year old.

Ever since that two million pound move from Notts County, Pennant’s career can be held up as the embodiment of what can happen to a talented young player who believes early on the hype which surrounds him. Repeatedly turning up late for training, a trait he never seemed to lose, Pennant found himself loaned out to a number of lesser teams before eventually leaving for Birmingham City.

Liverpool, Real Zaragoza and Stoke followed, with the same pattern of occasional moments of brilliance and more common disciplinary problems, before his first employment in Asia with India’s Pune City. Pennant did briefly return to England with Wigan Athletic but at the start of the year he signed with Singapore side Tampines Rovers to be their star player!

Now, less than a year after he signed, Pennant is once more looking for a club after he refused to accept a reduction on his 23,495 pound, weekly salary. Whilst this may be nothing compared to the vast sums being paid to some Premiership footballers it is still a lot more than most of us earn during a good portion of the year and it is a sad indictment of the amount of money in today’s game that a player like Pennant is comfortable to walk away from such a deal.

So in a departure from the usual What Happened To? I am instead asking the question What Next For the 23,495 pound man?

Whatever Happened To – Paul Ifill

In the seventies and early Eighties it was North America and for a few years in the Nineties it was Japan, then came the MSL revolution and the destination for aging or forgotten footballers went full circle and America was once more the desired destination. Nowadays, with the ever increasing expansion of the global game, footballers (and managers) have a myriad of options when deciding on their retirement plan including China and our very own A-league.

In this occasional series I will be highlighting football personalities who you may have forgotten who are now plying their trade Down Under. This time it a footballer who is probably only really remembered down at the Den but is revered here in New Zealand, Paul Ifill:

paul-ifil

If you were a football geek visiting Nelson, on the south island of New Zealand, you may be surprised to see the name Paul Ifill featuring so prominently on the news this week.  You may remember Ifill as a member of the Millwall team who shocked the nation by managing to reach the 2004 FA Cup final but here in New Zealand the tricky winger is celebrated for his heroics for the country’s only A-League franchise, the Wellington Phoenix.

After leaving Millwall, Ifill had spells at Crystal Palace and Sheffield United before deciding to move to the other side of the world to continue his football career. In five years in Wellington he became a cult figure thirty three goals in only one hundred and six games and is rightly remembered as one of the Phoenix’s finest players.

Now in the twilight of his career Ifill has signed to play for Tasman United as they make their bow in New Zealand’s Stirling Sports Premiership. Even at thirty six I suspect he will still have a little bit too much class, if not the pace, for his opponents but if he doesn’t, don’t expect Ifill to be returning to English shores anytime soon as he has set up two football academies in New Zealand to try and nurture the next generation of Kiwi football talent.

Whatever Happened To – Peter Taylor

In the seventies and early Eighties it was North America and for a few years in the Nineties it was Japan, then came the MSL revolution and the destination for aging or forgotten footballers went full circle and America was once more the desired destination. Nowadays, with the ever increasing expansion of the global game, footballers (and managers) have a myriad of options when deciding on their retirement plan including China and our very own A-league.

In this occasional series I will be highlighting football personalities who you may have forgotten who are now plying their trade Down Under. This time it is the England manager who first made Golden Balls England captain, Peter Taylor:

pt

Best remembered for a one match stint as caretaker manager of England, Taylor has recently been appointed assistant to Anthony Hudson, son of the ex-Stoke legend Alan, for the All Whites. Whilst not actually moving to New Zealand, Taylor will be based in England looking after the Kiwi footballers who play in Europe, Taylor will be with the New Zealand team as they prepare for their tilt at making the next world cup with friendlies against Mexico and the USA.

Let’s hope that Taylor’s influence ensures the European based players, such as West Ham’s Winston Reid and Leeds United’s Chris Wood, arrive fit and ready to play for the All Whites but don’t be surprised if this role doesn’t last too long. His role with the New Zealand Football Federation will be his 29th in football and for a man who has managed in such exotic places as Bahrain, India and Stevenage, so if results don’t go the All White’s way then where will Taylor end up next? Madagascar?